More funding and opportunities needed for young people – Zammit Dimech

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More funding and opportunities for young people - Zammit DimechMEP Francis Zammit Dimech, has said that young people and students are still facing a number of challenges to participate in mobility programmes.

He added that “mobility and internationalisation strategies need to tackle such challenges. Whereas doubling the Erasmus budget is a good move we are pushing to increase the existing Erasmus budget three fold to help students, young people and sports people go through this positive experience.”

The MEP was speaking during the launch of the publication – Bologna With Students Eyes – which looks into various educational aspects including mobility, quality of education, social dimension and financing of education.

According to the policy document, Zammit Dimech pointed out there has been “minimal progress in the EU with respect to mobility.”

Problems reported in 2012 are still being faced by students, the document says. He added how “students in Malta were still facing bureaucracy and delays in the application phase and recognition of studies conducted in other educational institutions was not always straightforward.”

Zammit Dimech, during a meeting of the Committee on Culture, Education, Youth and Sport, emphasised on the need to ensure that the budget of Erasmus increases at least three fold.

He also remarked that the programme needs to be more inclusive and outreach had to go beyond the tertiary education branding currently associated with Erasmus.

The MEP recommended an increase in funding for sports, as several young people relate more to sport than to the academic field, he said.

Zammit Dimech also suggested that the programme needs to target vulnerable groups, not just those who can afford participation in the programme.

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the European Commission is proposing to double funding for Erasmus to €30 billion which will support up to 12 million people between 2021-2027 – three times as many as in the current financing period.

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