The study was lauched in spring of 2013 and covered current, former, mobile and non-mobile students across Europe through a quantitative and qualitative analysis. The study had two core aims. The first aim was to identify the effects of Erasmus mobility programme on skills enhancement, employability and institutional development of the individual students. The other main focus was on examining the impact of Erasmus staff/teaching mobility.
In the quantitative student surveys, over 50 000 students participated, in addition to more than 18 000 alumni and almost 5000 staff members from higher education institutions, as well as employer representatives and institutional responses. In total, there was almost 79 000 responses analysed.
The key results from the study were published today. Five key findings are highlighted – related to the rationales to undertake Erasmus mobility, its relationship to employability, influence on future career, personal relationships and the benefits to staff and higher education institutions.
Perhaps unexpected, 90% of mobile students highlight the importance of having experience with living abroad as a rationale for Erasmus, along with language improvement and benefits to employability. Furthermore, the results highlight the inclusiveness of Erasmus, as very few of non-mobile students report barriers due to selection.
While there often seems to be a widespread and rather taken for granted assumption that mobility leads to enhanced employability, the study also found empirical evidence for the fact that employers find this increasingly important: the number of employers who found experience abroad as important for employability has nearly doubled – now at 64%. Furthermore, the study examined the effect in terms of personality traits of students and found positive effects. Furthermore, positive effects were also identified on future career – both in terms of employment opportunites and employment mobility. As such it does appear that Erasmus plays an important role in facilitating a mobile working force in Europe. This can also be related to the fact that the study identified that those who had been mobile were more likely to have a life partner of different nationality, and almost a third of Erasmus alumni had met their partner during their stay abroad.
Often highlighted as a success story of Europeanization of higher education in Europe, higher education institutions in the study also highlighted the role of Erasmus in their internationalization activities, with positive effects on staff development.