Nearly 700,000 people in Turkey have benefited from the EU’s Erasmus student exchange program in the last 17 years, a senior Turkish official said Monday.
More than 36,000 projects were implemented and €1.4 billion was allocated to the programs, said Ilker Astarci, head of the Turkish National Agency, a subsidiary organization that carries out the EU’s education and youth programs under the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Noting that grants are provided to 60,000 participants annually, including 20,000 higher education students, Astarci said they have entered the new term between 2021-2027 and new programs will be implemented.
In December last year, the European Parliament and the European Council approved the new term (2021-2027) Erasmus program budget, according to the Turkish National Agency’s website.
Astarci said Turkish citizens who benefit from the programs in EU countries also contribute to the formation of the dialogue between the bloc and Turkey.
Erasmus was founded in 1987 as a European Union student exchange program and later turned into Erasmus -- a program to support education, training, youth and sports in Europe. Turkey has been a member of the program since 2003.