Erasmus+ Higher Education Impact Study

CHE Consult and ICF Consulting have jointly prepared the Erasmus+ Higher Education Impact Study from January 2017 to April 2019. The study measures and analyses the impact that the Erasmus+ programme has on students who study abroad with the programme. It focuses on the development of individual competences, employability and a common European identity. In addition, the study analyses the effects of Erasmus+ mobility on the use of innovative teaching and learning methods by academic staff and the effects of the programme on institutions.

The study examined four main target groups and several subgroups: Erasmus+ students before and after their stay abroad, graduates with Erasmus+ experience, academic and non-academic staff and institutions involved in Erasmus+ projects. The results of the study are based on almost 77,000 responses. The participants include 47,000 students, 12,000 graduates and 10,000 employees of institutions.

During their stay abroad, Erasmus+ students explore what they would like to do in their lives. They experience new teaching and learning methods and strive for higher educational qualifications than non-mobile students. More than 70% of students say that they have a better idea of what they want to do in their future career after they participate in the Erasmus+ programme abroad. One quarter said they had reoriented their studies after the stay, with the experience abroad helping them. Erasmus+ also has an impact on students‘ personal life: One in five graduates said they met their partners during the Erasmus+ period abroad.

Erasmus+ students improved their labour market-related skills and their competences in terms of social cohesion. 9 out of 10 of the students interviewed said that they had improved in terms of adaptability, interaction with people from other cultures, communication skills and problem-solving abilities. More than half improved their digital literacy. 9 out of 10 graduates report that they use the skills and experience acquired during their Erasmus+ study in their current job. In terms of personal development, social engagement and openness to other cultures, Erasmus+ has a stronger impact than other mobility programmes.

Graduates with Erasmus+ experience find a job slightly faster than the control group without mobility experience in their studies. 3 out of 4 graduates with Erasmus+ experience believe that the stay abroad was beneficial in finding theirjob after graduation. 40 percent of those who completed an internship in the framework of Erasmus+ were offered an employment contract by the company at which they completed their placement.

Erasmus+ Academic mobility also improves the teaching and learning practices, as well as the broad skills and competences of higher education staff. 43% of academic staff who taught or learned abroad through the Erasmus+ programme integrated at least one new teaching method into their work, such as work-based learning for example. 60 per cent of teachers who participate in Erasmus+ at some point involve employees of companies in their teaching. This is a significantly higher proportion than the control group of teachers without corresponding experience abroad, where this happens in 40 percent of cases. The effects go beyond the change in participants’ practice. More than 80 per cent of the employees who are mobile abroad state that Erasmus+ has led to improvements in the development of innovative curricula and modern teaching practices in their faculty or department.