134 students to receive EU funds to pursue higher education in Europe

40% increase in awarded scholarships since 2019

Chennai, 6 August 2020: 134 Indian students have been awarded the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) scholarship under the EU Erasmus+ programme, making India the top global recipient this year.  Under the EMJMD scheme, students will get an opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in leading European universities in at least two different European countries. This year witnessed a 40% increase in the Indian students receiving the Erasmus Mundus scholarship as compared to last year. The fully-funded scholarship will cover the tuition fee, travel costs and a living allowance of the recipient.

France, UK[1] and Belgium, Germany, Italy and Portugal are the top six higher education destinations where the students will start their courses this year. Under this programme, the Indian students will be pursuing 78 different programmes ranging from Management, Food Sciences, Cartography, Vaccinology, Photonics, Biological & Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy, Digital Earth, Sustainable Tropical Forestry, Decentralised Smart Energy Systems to Tribology of the surface.

To mark this success, the Delegation of the European Union to India organised a virtual event for the Indian students. Congratulating the scholars, the Ambassador of the European Union to India, H.E. Mr. Ugo Astuto said, “An Erasmus degree fosters excellence, innovation and internationalisation. Being an Erasmus scholar also offers the opportunity to explore Europe and its diverse cultures and languages. You will meet fellow students from all over the world and study in a truly globalised environment. I hope you will come back as goodwill ambassadors for the EU-India cooperation and partnership.”

Bringing together Indian students, Erasmus Alumni and EU Member States, the event provided an interactive platform to share information on studying in Europe and other practical aspects. Sharing their experiences, Erasmus Alumni provided useful tips on how students can optimize the opportunity offered by the programme.

Speaking at the event, Dr Abjay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer in the Ministry of Education encouraged Indian students to go to Europe to see different countries and learn from different cultures. He asked them to “take maximum advantage of all opportunities and build networks for their future and their country, which needs them to address the problems and challenges that India and humanity at large are facing.” He emphasised that for this it is important that while studying, they develop a problem-solving mind and skills.

Given the current global challenge and uncertainties, the Erasmus+ programme, EU Member States and the universities are putting all their efforts to ensure that support and information are available to the students while ensuring flexibility in the programme. Reassuring the students given the unprecedented situation, Mr Adrian Veale, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission, Brussels said, “The Erasmus Programme has been working closely with the partner countries. Our first priority is the health and safety of the students. Erasmus+ has also offered flexibility to the universities for them to continue operating in these circumstances. While some programmes have built-in a delayed start to the academic programme, others may start with online lessons and will switch to face-to-face teaching when this becomes more feasible. These new arrangements will continue to apply at the start of our academic year in September 2020. Erasmus+ and the various partner countries are eager to offer the programme as early as possible.  Each programme will have a slightly different approach depending on the regional and local situation.” He also advised the students to be in close contact with their respective programme coordinator who would be the point of contact for advising on travel and the program.

EU Member States representatives shared information with the students on what their country had specifically to offer, the opportunities on education and research and innovation and the impact of COVID-19 in their respective countries and regions and responded to queries of the students.

EU India focus on People to People and Cultural Cooperation

At the recently held EU-India Summit (15 July 2020), the European Union and the Government of India welcomed the exchange of students, researchers and professionals and agreed to improve awareness of the study and scholarship opportunities in the EU and in India in the coming years to strengthen the cultural ties between the two regions.

Voices from Indian students who have received the scholarship this year:

Nithish Kumar CV, from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, will be studying Nuclear Physics at the University of Seville (Spain) and thereafter in France and Italy. An alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Andhra Pradesh he said, “Europe is known for its research in fundamental physics. Not only will this program help me to build my base in research, but it will also give me a chance to work in some of the established physics research groups in Europe. I am very thankful to the University of Seville for answering my doubts related to admission process amidst this troubled time due to Covid-19. I would also like to thank the tireless efforts of the government diplomats of India and the European Union for giving us students the opportunity to excel in our fields of interest.”

 Satyajit Mal from Kolkata, West Bengal will be studying at the University of Rome Sapienza (Italy) and thereafter at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy), University of Coimbra (Portugal) and National Technical University of Athens (Greece). An alumnus of the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi he said, “As a professional, I was looking at a multi-disciplinary approach for higher education. The Erasmus+ programme provides this opportunity in 3 different countries, internship options and mobility of students which inspired me to apply for the scholarship and the course. I also extend gratitude to the EU Member States