The ERASMUS programme was launched by the Council of the European Community as early as 1987. It was named after the important humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam. The objectives of the programme were and are to increase student mobility, to take into account the progressive unification of Europe and to bring the programme participants, the universities and ultimately the individual countries closer together through personal contacts.

Erasmus-Logo.pngIn 2006 the first generation of the EU education programmes Socrates and Leonardo ended. The next phase of these programmes covered the period 2007 - 2013 and had a total budget of  EUR 7 billion. The current programmes were brought together under a single roof. The new umbrella programme "Lifelong Learning (LLP)" included the sub-programmes Comenius (school education), ERASMUS (higher education), LEONARDO (vocational training) and GRUNDTVIG (adult education). The programme name Socrates will be dropped in future. Since 2014, the ERASMUS+ programme has existed as the central programme for youth, education and sport of the European Union. The subdivision into different programmes will therefore no longer apply. With a budget of 14.8 billion euros, around 2 million students should benefit from ERASMUS+ by 2020.