Friday, 20 January 2012

bye bye Comenius - introducing Erasmus for All

Erasmus for All is the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport proposed by the European Commission on 23 November 2011.

Let's say bye bye to Comenius, Grundtvig, Leonardo da Vinci and all of these actions: the European Commission decided to stop using the different existing names of mobility programmes and gather all of them under the widely recognised  "brand" of Erasmus - a name strongly associated with learning abroad and European cooperation. It's obviously considered to be a name that markets itself and could work as a sort of advertisement for the whole programme.

You can read more about this new action, including FAQs, key figures, and a short video presentation, at the European Commission - Education and Training website.

But - naming apart - what changes will be introduced by this new programme?
Difficult to say. Let's listen to the European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, who presented Erasmus for All and Creative Europe programmes, during a press conference in Brussels at the end of November.

Of course, we're just at the beginning of this new European journey and we can't judge something that is not even born. And please remember, this is just my very personal opinion. Anyway, I'm not sure that "financial austerity which all member states face" can be considered enough to describe what we are living now in Italy, Greece, and lots of European countries. And it's not enough to explain the crisis of the EU as a whole, the progressive lack of confidence and trust of common people, students and teachers and workers, European citizens - lack of trust in their national governments first, and then in the EU as an ideal, as a common cause.
I'm happy to know the EU is still willing to invest on the future - on learning, on youth - and I'm happy to know despite the crisis there will be a larger amount of money to support mobilities. People traveling, studying, working and having experiences abroad will help raise awareness about the importance of a strong, consistent, European Union.
But unfortunately, in my opinion, this is not enough. The educational world cannot fight on its own to keep Europe together, when European politicians fight each other every day to keep their countries apart.
Who knows, maybe next programme should be called "Less Selfishness for All"...


  1. "Erasmus for everyone" !!
    Everyone deserve his own Erasmus...
    Well, it terribly seems just marketing. A marketing operation. Let's do the same, old (bad) thing but let's call it in a different way: maybe no one notes it and we can pretend to do a better work reaching the benchmarks (we deserve a promotion!).
    O my God...

    1. Dear LLT Friends,
      Laura, thank you for sharing us the news about "Erasmus for everyone".
      To tell the truth -even if I don't have many information- I don't find a lot of differences among the "old" programme and a new one. I agree with you, Ste.
      I liked Comenius, because gave a lot of new opportunities for my pupils, school and for me as a teacher (study, activities, partnerships, travelling..), so it's good tho have a chance to continue it. But what I would like - now I am really worried because of crisis, and because of this school year I find, the situation of families is more difficult than before. Some of my pupils don't have for example a simple rule or other things for school..parents loose their job, there are social problems. The school helps where it is possible - for example gave a coat for a little girl in my class..but it is not enough. I am worried because of their future. It could be nice and important to have help here.

  2. I think we all have the same idea: this programme will be good if it's not only marketing, but there's something behind the nice title.
    Personally, I don't think they will change that much - after all, Comenius, Grundtvig etc were successful actions. Why change something good?
    Anyway, we just have to wait and see. And if we don't like what we see, in the future, we'll have to let the EU listen to the teachers' opinions.

  3. Hi everybody,
    reading your opinions and ideas was very interesting to me. I must say, probably due to the crisis Europe is living right now, I'm a bit more on the pessimistic side. We all know what's happening in Italy, Greece, Hungary, Romania... and lots of other countries. The strikes, the protests, the hard times - all of these make people feel Europe is not doing enough for them - or worse, Europe is asking too much from them. For lots of Europeans, Europe is the problem. Hence the selfishness.
    For these resons, on the one hand I think we need stronger and more efficient European actions: so, welcome Erasmus for all. On the other, I'm afraid of beautiful names with nothing behind - or with just less money behind.
    As Sandra says, we just have to wait and see. I hope this action will be a step towards an Europe of people, not of words.