According to the most recent data from the European Commission; Spain, France and Germany have maintained their positions as the most popular Erasmus study destinations.

The report, titled Erasmus: Facts, Figures & Trends, demonstrates that for academic year 2013-14, Spain received the highest amount of Erasmus exchange students with a total of 39,277, followed by Germany with 30,964, then France with 29,621. Spain was also the country that sent the most students to study abroad, with 37,235.

The UK trailed behind in numbers, sending just 15,610 students to study or train abroad with Erasmus, but receiving almost twice as many students at 27,401.

Despite Spain having the highest involvement with Erasmus overall, France came top when only the number of students pursuing work placements are considered, but generally, the UK earns the title of the top destination for Erasmus students moving for employment reasons.

The year 2013-14 saw a record number of students train or study at a European institution through Erasmus. In total, 272,497 students from 3,456 European universities took part in the programme, an increase from the previous year which saw 268,143 students take part in the programme overall. This demonstrates an increase in participation of 2 percent each year.

Data shows there was a significant amount of female participation in the programme, as 60.5 percent of the latest Erasmus student participants were women.

Students studying business, law and social science-based subjects made up the bulk of the cohort at 41 percent, followed by students focusing on the humanities and the arts at 22 percent.

In terms of Erasmus staff exchanges, 2013-14 saw 57,488 teachers make the move to Europe, an annual increase of 9.2 percent. More than half of these (66.3 percent) were for teaching assignments, while the rest took part for training purposes. The average duration of a staff mobility period in 2013-14 was 5.5 days.

Poland was the region sending the most staff abroad, closely followed by Turkey, Spain and Romania. However, the five most popular staff exchange destinations remained with Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the UK.

These figures are based on the total number of students who took part in the final academic year of the Erasmus programme for higher education in 2013-14. This programme has since been replaced by the new and improved Erasmus+ programme.

Erasmus+ is now in its second year, and has already delivered promising results, including a higher recognition rate for ECTS credits earned abroad by students, a higher quality of mobility with better linguistic preparation and better accessibility.

“By removing barriers to mobility,” the report states, “Erasmus+ will open the minds of another two million students, who will be better equipped to build a more cohesive and competitive society.”

Additional reporting by Times Higher Education.

Image via Shutterstock.

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