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Mobility boost for Masters students

Posted by Nick Prag at 11 June 2015, 22:55 CET |
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Students looking to take a Master's Degree in another EU country will be keen to look into a loan guarantee scheme offered by the highly successful Erasmus+ programme, as a new agreement worth some EUR 30 million was signed this week.

An agreement for the first loans to graduates taking their Master's degree abroad under Erasmus+ was signed by MicroBank and the European Investment Fund, providing financial support for students from Spain taking their Master degree in one of the 33 Erasmus+ Programme Countries, or students from these countries moving to Spain for a Master.

The aim of the Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Facility, set up earlier this year, is to increase access to finance for students, regardless of their social background, to take a Master's Degree in another Erasmus+ programme country.

The scheme will receive over EUR 500 million from the Erasmus+ budget, to raise up to EUR 3 billion in loans for Europe's young talent. It is envisaged that it will support 200,000 students who want to obtain a Master degree abroad.

The loan is not insubstantial. Students can receive up to EUR 12,000 for a one-year Master's course and up to EUR 18,000 for a two-year Master's course, at favourable terms.

For example, the loans do not require collateral from students or parents and offer a favourable interest rate and delayed pay-back options.

More details on the scheme can be found on the Erasmus+ Master Loan and MicroBank websites.

This is another boost to the cause of student mobility in Europe. Its importance to the EU economy lies in its role in tackling the skills gaps in Europe.

It is recognised that, as the need for higher skills grows in Europe, masters graduates make an increasingly important contribution to innovation and entrepreneurship.

This agreement with MicroBank as the pioneer of the scheme is the first. The Commission promises that it will be working with other financial institutions across Europe in the future to continue support for talented young Europeans who are interested in taking their Master's degree abroad.

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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.