The name of Erasmus of Rotterdam (if you want to know who was the Erasmus of Rotterdam, please find my post here), the famous early 16th Century humanist, was chosen for the ERASMUS (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) programme.
The Erasmus programme was approved in 1987 as an independently run European Union programme with the aim of supporting student mobility.
In the first year of its existence the programme involved 11 countries, with 3 244 students travelling abroad for study stays. Since these early beginnings the programme has undergone a series of major changes.
In 1995 Erasmus became part of the framework education programme Socrates, and the spectrum of its activities was gradually broadened to include teacher mobility and international cooperation among universities. However, student mobility still remains at the heart of the programme, making it the best-known and most popular of the EU’s educational programmes.
The Socrates/Erasmus programme ended in 2006, having given over one million students the chance to study abroad.
After it the EU “Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP)”, replaced the Socrates programme in 2007.
The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) was designed to enable people, at any stage of their life, to take part in stimulating learning experiences, as well as developing education and training across Europe.
With a budget of nearly €7 billion, the programme, which ran from 2007-2013, funded a range of exchanges, study visits, and networking activities.
The activities of LLP continue under the new Erasmus+ programme from 2014-2020.