Edited By Fred Dervin and Regis Machart
The Erasmus Programme: Achievements, Inequalities and Prospects – An Overall Approach
Since the creation of the Erasmus programme more than 25 years ago, student mobility has been constantly encouraged and the participants have shown great satisfaction. Making skilled young Europeans more mobile is one goals of the European Commission. However the Erasmus programme concerns only a minority, less than 5% of European students. Erasmus is still far from achieving its 10% target of European higher education students being mobile during their studies as set originally and even farther from the target of 20% by the Ministers of Education of the Bologna signature countries in Louvain-La-Neuve in 2010 and reconfirmed in Bucharest in 2012 (Souto-Otero, Huisman, Beerkens, de Wit, & Vujić, 2013). The total number of mobile students has certainly increased, because of the institutionalisation of mobility, but are these students on an equal footing at the outset? In this article, which presents the results of an international comparative study (Ballatore, 2010) and summarises also a more recent literature on the topic, I wish neither to contest the policy that would like to give everybody the experience of mobility, nor to list the positive/negative effects of European programmes, but rather to question the drift and perverse effects of extended student mobility, which has focused mostly on quantitative goals. We may ask, in fact, in a context where the collective benefits of this programme remain uncertain, if it does not constitute a way of maintaining social inequalities, because of the institutional arbitration it involves and the individual strategies...
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