The Minister for European Affairs, Ms. Helen McEntee T.D., attended a celebratory dinner this evening in Trinity College Dublin to mark the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme. The dinner, held in the Dining Hall in Trinity, was attended by the Provost of Trinity College along with Rectors and Vice-Rectors of leading Universities from all over Europe.
The Minister for European Affairs was invited to address those gathered and spoke of the importance of the Erasmus programme, now called Erasmus+, in the lives of Ireland’s young people. The benefits to young people of studying in a different country were highlighted by the Minister. She said: “The Erasmus programme is a fantastic opportunity for so many young people to experience new cultures and countries, learn new languages, and explore new academic interests. Meeting people from all over Europe and realising that they have so much in common really encapsulates some of the most fundamental ideals of the EU. Erasmus is the embodiment of some of the greatest of the European Union’s ideals.”
Minister McEntee said; “Since the inception of the Erasmus programme, some 60,000 Irish people have taken part in it and over 100,000 overseas students have come to Ireland to learn. This programme is very important for building skills and for regional economies throughout Ireland. It is estimated that as a result of theErasmus programme some 25,000 visitors come to Ireland each year which all help to support jobs in our economy and this underpins the wider positive benefits of the programme.
The Minister went on to discuss issues pertaining to the Future of Europe and the upcoming series of Future of Europe Citizens Dialogues to be arranged and chaired by the Minister between now and Europe Day on the 9th of May, 2018. This series of dialogues will be officially launched next Wednesday the 15th of November 2017.