A Programme of Value
Silvia Fontana, our career development coordinator has been invited by our Partner Erasmus+ Indire to moderate a discussion on European Citizenship during the General States of the Erasmus Generation, on February 24 in Rome; event with the presence of the Italian Minister of Education, Valeria Fedeli, and the under-secretary for Europe in the Italian Prime Minister’s office, Sandro Gozi. The event has been organized in collaboration with Erasmus Student Network Italia, partner of our School, that recently intervened in the opening day of our Masters PMC in Project Management for International Cooperation, HOPE in Humanitarian Operations in Emergencies and FRAME in FundRaising Management in the NGOs.
According to Silvia, the Erasmus+, despite all the challenges and areas for additional improvement, is an impactful initiative, important for your career path and for your understanding of the European founding principle of Humanity, Solidarity and Peace, therefore, for your growth as a person of Value.
Here her thoughts on the event:
“Recently I was in Rome with more than 200 students from all over Italy to speak about huge European challenges, during the General States of the Erasmus Generation. After 30 years from its creation in 1987, it was the time to sit with students and share their ideas on the Erasmus program (now Erasmus+) and their actions today, as active citizens of a troubled Europe.
During the morning session, institutional representatives such as the Italian Minister of Education, Valeria Fedeli, and the under-secretary for Europe in the Italian prime minister’s office, Sandro Gozi, underlined the success of the Erasmus program for the employability of the youth and as an added value for our European Identity. Indeed, I appreciated the call of Mr. Gozi, actively supported by EU parliament member Silvia Costa, towards a substantial increase (10x) of the EU funding in Erasmus programs (which means, let’s be clear, not just the Erasmus program as known by many but also refers to all the other initiatives less known of the Erasmus Plus).
The discussion underlined the strengths and the areas for improvement of the Erasmus+ program as for today. It is an incredible opportunity of learning and living the European identity in concrete terms, with time abroad studying or working in diverse and multicultural environments. However, the lack of financial resources for the programme itself in terms of scalability and for the individuals involved is a critical point that policy makers should address. Moreover, challenges related to the dissemination of the Erasmus+ opportunities to all the different targets (again, not just students, but young people for the EVS programs for instance) limit the potential of the Erasmus idea of mobility and exchange to foster dialogue, understanding and peace.
The debate with the students in the afternoon has been fruitful especially to underline the abovementioned elements. The institutional representatives at the table took note of those challenges and future steps will be taken for an increase of the funding. On the communication side, an integrated and operational plan is much needed to be more effective in reaching all the potential targets of the initiatives under the Erasmus+ umbrella. To this regard, I congratulate here the initiative of GaragErasmus as a hub of knowledge and opportunities for many and the incredible work of student led associations and network such as Erasmus Student Network Italia, partner of the Social Change School.
As an Erasmian, I can say that Erasmus affected my life tremendously and for the good in terms of better understanding of the Others (as perceived by many), flexibility and ability to face unexpected challenges. To me, the Erasmus is not just crucial for improving basic, transversal and entrepreneurial skills for career paths (statistics are pretty clear, eg. an Erasmus student finds work in half the time respect to a non-Erasmian Student) but, most importantly, it is an experience of value for you as a person. With the students present at the event, I am discussing on ideas and concrete projects to foster the European Citizenship in these troubled times for Europe via an online platform, to provide recommendations from the Erasmus Generation to our policy makers. I guess this is a good example of what Erasmus is keeping doing: creating the next generation of leaders for a better Europe, despite all the difficulties, challenges and walls.”
By Silvia Fontana
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 Event organized by Agenzia Nazionale Erasmus+ Indire, Erasmus Student Network Italia, garagErasmus in collaboration with Dipartimento per le politiche europee della Presidenza del Consiglio , Miur and the European Union. See for more details on the programme.
Photo credit: GaragErasmus