University of Primorska Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies

Saturday, 24 September 2022 UP Famnit representative at the Erasmus+ 35th anniversary meeting

Erasmus+ is a European programme that supports education, training, youth, and sport in Europe. This year it marks its 35th anniversary, coinciding with the European Year of Youth. To mark the occasion, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, invited 35 young people from different European countries to a meeting in Brussels on 20 September 2022 to share past experiences and future expectations for Erasmus+. Milan Milivojčević, a third-year student of the Computer Science programme at UP Famnit, attended the meeting as a representative of Slovenia. 

He himself has extensive experience of the programme, having spent his first year on an Erasmus+ exchange at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labe, Czech Republic. During his exchange he became active in the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), where he recognised the opportunities and, upon his return to his home university, made a proposal to re-establish the network, which was accepted as an excellent proposal by the management. He has gathered 30 volunteers around him to support the exchange students. They were initially known as the Primorska Student Exchange Network, as they received confirmation of their candidacy in June 2022. Their work provided daily support to students, bridged the gap between students and management and was a valuable source of information. This is what Milan Milivojčević presented to the Commissioner during the meeting in Brussels.

He summarised his impressions of the visit by saying: "The visit to Brussels was an excellent opportunity to meet the European Commissioner and Vice-President of the Commission, Margaritis Schinas. We discussed the current state of the Erasmus+ project, possible improvements and future plans and promotion. Each and every one of us, 35 representatives from European countries, had the opportunity to express our views and participate. An interesting part was the presentation of the origins and development of the programme, as we heard directly from the founding team members Hywel Cary Jones, Alan Smith, Angelika Verla and David O'Sullivan. I also had the opportunity to have a photo with Mr. Jones and express my enthusiasm and gratitude for the idea of Erasmus+."

The success of the programme at European level is reflected in the fact that the estimated budget of the programme for the period 2021-2027 is €26.2 billion, almost double the previous seven-year period (2014-2020). The renewed and strengthened programme places a strong emphasis on social inclusion, the green and digital transition, and promoting the participation of young people in democratic life. This is also part of the University of Primorska's efforts, visible in the project starting in October GDI: Green, Digital, Inclusive UP.

The Erasmus+ programme is therefore one of the key programmes for the University of Primorska in pursuing the goal of internationalisation and realising its vision. Since 1987, the programme has offered opportunities for mobility and cooperation in various fields (higher education, vocational education and training, school education, adult education, youth and sport). Over the 35 years of its existence, more than 10 million people have benefited from exchange opportunities (from the EU, other European countries, and beyond). In almost 20 years of its existence, 2,519 students from the University of Primorska have participated in exchanges with the UP and 1,398 students from the UP have visited abroad.

Erasmus+ brings new experiences, exposure to other cultures and sometimes means permanent relocation - according to European Commission statistics, 20% of people find love during their exchange.