More funds for international mobility projects and specific resources to increase the number of female students enrolled in scientific courses at university. These are two of the actions envisaged by the decree on interventions in support of university students signed by the minister of Education, universities and research, Valeria Fedeli.
Funds to finance Erasmus+ bursaries
The decree provides for a 6,3 % increase of funding for international mobility for university and PhD students, accounting for 50 million euro. The sum allocated by the previous decree was 47 million. Miur’s funds integrate the 72 million euro allocated this year for the university sector by the Indire’s Erasmus+ agency. The most striking innovation, however, is that the decree allows for the allocation of more funds to students in economic difficulty. Even though the amount of the bursary (which covers travel expenses and subsistence costs in the host country) is set every year by the National Erasmus+ Agency, it is also foreseen an additional contribution from the university, to be determined every year. The decree signed in December introduces an integration to the Erasmus bursary ranging from 150 euro per month, for those with an equivalent economic status indicator between 40 thousand and 50 thousand euro, to 400 euro, for those with an equivalent economic status below 13 thousand euro. Moreover, every student can know beforehand the bursary minimum increase allocated by state funds. Another innovation is that at least 50% of the bursary will be granted before the departure, another measure in support of those in less favourable economic conditions.
According to the estimates provided by Indire’s National Agency Erasmus+, outgoing university students in 2017/18 will be more than 40 thousand. Since the beginning of the programme (1987) to date, the Erasmus programme has involved more than 4 million students. Italy contributed by 10% ranking among the four main countries (after Spain, Germany and France) for number of outgoing students in Europe.