28.06.2021 – 10:00
the film spanish hostel (Barcelona for a year), which sealed the status of an Erasmus icon for Barcelona, was not far from reality.
Preliminary results of the IRiE research project, implemented under the auspices of the ESPON program, which specializes in regional policy analysis, show that Spain is not only one of the most popular destinations for Erasmus students, but – at least in absolute terms. Terminology – Also the country with the largest number of university students who have decided to go abroad.
In addition to Spain, the top three countries of the European Union, namely France, Germany and Italy, occupy the first places. This also applies in part to Great Britain, which was already a major in connection with the Erasmus program before Brexit, as only a few British students participated in the programme, but many Europeans decided to study in the UK. Part of the IRiE study examined incoming and outgoing Erasmus student flows in the 2009/10 and 2013/2014 academic years.
During this period, the most pronounced changes in student flows would have occurred in countries in the middle or bottom of the ranking.
The number of students who went abroad from Croatia, Turkey, Malta or Cyprus for a stay at Erasmus increased by more than 50% in just four years.
As the researchers explain, this is a sign of the “increasing integration of these peripheral regions into the Erasmus network.” These peripheral areas will also enjoy increasing popularity among students. This is especially true for the Balkan countries, Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and Turkey. Here the number of visiting students – mainly from countries of origin Spain, France, Germany and Italy – increased by more than 50%.
However, if you analyze the same numbers in relation to population size, a completely different picture emerges.
Luxembourg, the Baltic states, Finland and Iceland will then be at the top of the list of countries of origin for Erasmus students.
At the other end of the list are the United Kingdom, Turkey, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria, despite significant increases in recent countries during the period under review.
Similarly, Nordic countries would also be among the most popular host countries with this approach – and in southern Europe Malta and Portugal would stand out.
Turkey and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will fall to the bottom of the ranking. This can partly be explained by the fact that these countries were relatively new to the Erasmus program, but it is certainly also due to the fact that their national languages are less common abroad, and even countries such as Greece and Bulgaria use a different alphabet.
In a direct comparison of the incoming and outgoing flows within individual countries, researchers note that some countries are “specialized” in receiving students from abroad, or in other words, the number of students visiting from abroad is much higher in these countries than the number of those who pack their bags and travel abroad on their side . This is the case in the Nordic countries, which are among the most popular host countries due to the quality of their higher education institutions, and in the English-speaking countries of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In other countries, such as Greece, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania, the relationship was completely opposite.
A similar trend can be observed in Italy, France and Germany. On the one hand, this may be a sign of an increased tendency to study abroad, but on the other hand it can also indicate an increase in brain drain, and a creeping brain drain.