New Delhi: Out of 2,756 scholarship awardees worldwide, 153 Indian students have been awarded the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarships this year. With this, India ranks first for the second consecutive year among 167 countries.
The 153 students (74 females and 79 males) have been selected out of 756 applications submitted by Indian students, a success rate of 20.3%. To mark this success, the Delegation of the European Union to India organized a virtual event for the Indian students who have received a scholarship for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.
Congratulating the winners, H.E Ugo ASTUTO, Ambassador of the European Union to India said “The Erasmus+ programme offers students from across the world state-of-the-art education opportunities in different disciplines, as well as new and innovative teaching methods. Indian students have for the second consecutive year obtained the largest number of scholarships worldwide in this very competitive programme. The mobility of students and researchers is an important dimension of our relationship, as it fosters the free exchange of ideas, opinions and culture.”
The Indian students selected for the Erasmus Mundus 2021-2023 batch will have the opportunity to study and conduct research in at least two universities located in different European countries and obtain a joint, double or multiple degree in a wide variety of topics such as big data management, life sciences, food innovation, environmental sciences, urban climate and culture. The fully funded scholarship will cover tuition fees, travel costs and living allowance of the recipient. Selected Indian students collectively will get an opportunity to stay and experience over 20 different European countries during a time span of two years.
The recipients of this year’s Erasmus Mundus scholarships come from leading higher education institutes in India and will study in a wide range of prestigious European universities. Students will start their studies in a range of EU Member States and other countries: France (45), Italy (15), Belgium (14), Finland (10), Portugal (10), Spain (10), The Netherlands (7), Germany (6), Poland (5), Greece (3), Sweden (3), Austria (2), Denmark (2), Estonia (2), Hungary (2), Czech Republic (1) and United Kingdom (14), Norway (1), Turkey (1).
The Secretary-General of the Association of Indian Universities, Dr (Mrs) Pankaj MITTAL congratulated the Indian students and encouraged them to take advantage of the Erasmus Mundus scholarships which offers besides quality education, a framework for exchange of views and dialogues between individuals and groups of different cultural backgrounds. She reiterated that Erasmus Mundus plays a vital role in promoting global citizenship and openness to understanding of others. She also encouraged the Indian students to return after this rich experience .and contribute to India’s development
Adrian VEALE, Policy Officer, European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, added to the congratulations in this very competitive programme. Students can be really proud and give themselves a pat on the back for being awarded this scholarship. He also underlined the excellent education offered by the programme to which Indian students will certainly contribute. He encouraged students to be curious and ask questions, which is the European way of education. Above all he wished students to enjoy their journey in Europe.
Bringing together Indian students, Erasmus Alumni and representatives of EU Member States, the event provided an interactive platform to share information on travel, living and studying in Europe. The scholars also got an opportunity to interact with the winners of the 2020 scholarship and received useful tips and life testimony on the amazing experience to be an Erasmus scholar. Students were also encouraged to become member of the Erasmus Mundus Association to remain connected and valorize the experience post studying.
The representatives from the embassies of Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Sweden welcomed the students to their respective countries and encouraged them to take advantage of the innovative and high quality education offered in Europe and cultural diversity.
Students were also informed that a large number of Member States have already started processing the visa applications for the students. In cases where travelling is restricted due to the evolving Covid-19 situation and overriding public health reasons, online classes will be organized at institutional level. Each programme will have a slightly different approach depending on the regional and local situation. The students are advised to be in close contact with their respective programme coordinator on the organization of classes in the upcoming academic year 2021-2022.
What is Erasmus+
The EU’s Erasmus programme was launched in 1987, to allow European students to do part of their education curriculum in another EU Member State, and in doing so learn more about the cultural diversity in Europe. By now the Erasmus+ programme covers all education and training sectors ranging from early childhood education and care, and school education to vocational education and training, higher education and adult learning. It also covers the types of non-formal learning through youth cooperation and volunteering.
Today’s Erasmus+ programme is open to students from all over the world. The 2014-2020 programme awarded short-term and degree scholarships to Indian students and exchange grants to Indian staff, together totaling over 6,000.
The new 2021-2027 Erasmus+ programme started on 1 January 2021, and will continue these worldwide opportunities for mobility and cooperation. The new programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.
The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) is the most prestigious scheme, offering an international study programme, jointly delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions. The scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis by annual call of proposals and covers tuition fee, travel costs and living allowance. These individual programmes will open to student applications in October/November 2021 for programmes starting in September 2022.
At the EU-India leader’s meeting on 8 May 2021, the leaders highlighted the positive cooperation on higher education, including under Erasmus+, and the relevance of cultural exchanges. They also agreed to aim at a more balanced two-way mobility of researchers. They further encouraged people-to-people exchanges in education, research, science and technology, professional activities including in areas such as information technology, environment, climate, healthcare, business, and tourism.
Entry conditions and travel formalities
Entry restrictions, and limitations in relation to the epidemiological situation, are decided by each Member State. Students are advised to check out the websites of each Member State, or country they are going to, to find the latest update regarding student visas, and the general information about visas and other entry conditions, given the ongoing pandemic.