There has been a sharp rise in the number of Indians winning the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters scholarships and India has ranked first among 167 countries for the second consecutive year in 2022, data from the European Union shows. As many as 161 Indian students, including 88 women candidates, have been awarded the prestigious scholarship for degree programmes this year.
European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus) is a programme funded by the European Union to support education for students across the world. It also encourages partnerships between global universities. Erasmus+ scholarships cover participation costs, travel costs, and the living allowance of the recipients. Data from Erasmus shows that over the last five years, out of 165 countries, scholarship applications from across the globe increased by 37 per cent and by a whopping 87 per cent from India.
When it comes to winning scholarships, performance by Indians has been more than double of their global peers. While there has been an increase of 69.99 per cent globally, India has seen a rise of 151.56 per cent—on average, the number of successful Indian applicants has gone up by 27 per cent every year. Noticeably, there has been a considerable increase in the number of Indian women winning the scholarship in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, of the 153 Indian students who were awarded the Erasmus+ scholarship, 74 were women, and 88 Indian women won the scholarship out of 161 applicants this year.
“The EU has adopted a gender equality strategy which presents policy objectives and actions to make significant progress by 2025 towards a gender-equal Europe. This strategy also envisages that 85 per cent of all new external actions will promote gender equality and women’s empowerment by 2025, which will contribute to building a more inclusive and prosperous society,” said Seppo Nurmi, Chargé d’Affaires, Delegation of the European Union to India. “It is a recognition of the academic excellence of Indian candidates,” added Nurmi.
Nurmi said apart from world-class institutions, the opportunity to travel and study in at least two countries, and cultural diversity are among the reasons why Indians prefer Europe. “The students, through this scholarship, get an opportunity to study and conduct research in at least two universities located in different European countries and obtain a joint, double or multiple degrees, giving them a unique exposure,” said an EU official adding that so far, over 6000 Indian students and academics have benefited from Erasmus Mundus scholarships.
The official also credited growing awareness as one of the reasons behind a substantial increase in the applications from Indian students. “Networking with alumni has also helped to drive up both the volume and the quality of applications,” added the official. Europe has over 4000 higher education institutions, with more than 17 million students and 1.5 million academics, including 435,000 researchers.
This year, Indian recipients of the Erasmus Mundus scholarships come from 19 states across India. They will stay and study in over 18 different European countries over a span of two years. Apart from India, other top countries in terms of the number of applicants include Nigeria, Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Mexico over the last eight years.
Courtesy : The Indian Express