EU-U.S. International Education Connections: U.S. Opportunities to Participate in Erasmus Programs and the Case for a Renewed Commitment to Transatlantic International Education Collaboration
The European Union’s suite of Erasmus programs are an ambitious effort to facilitate educational mobility and research across the EU’s 28 member countries and with partners around the world. It is one of the primary means to achieve a sense of European identity among the citizens across the Union, and governmental and educational organizations in the U.S. are keen to learn more about how they can also engage with it. The Departments of State and Education, because of their respective work in international education, are particularly well-positioned to lead that effort. Erasmus is ambitious in its social objectives and level of funding, and stake-holders in the U.S. including at Higher Education Institutions have heard about its programs but generally assume they’re only for Europeans and their institutions. That is not the case. Programs jointly supported by the U.S. government (USG) and EU have been implemented including the discontinued Atlantis program and ongoing Fulbright-EU Schuman program, and there are additional avenues for stakeholders in the U.S. to engage with Erasmus such as its International Credit Mobility program among others. The EU Delegation to the United States and other official representatives are charged to conduct outreach about those opportunities to a diverse US. audience. An inventory of the EU and U.S.’s respective international education programs should be conducted to identify venues for collaboration, better understand previous and ongoing collaborations (and lessons learned from those efforts), and the state of the programs in domestic and global contexts. The close geopolitical relationship and shared educational traditions between the U.S. and EU (and its member-nations) provide the most fertile soil for international education collaboration in the world, and light of the upcoming 2021 renewal of the Erasmus programs and the increasingly dynamic global educational environment now is the opportune time for the U.S. and EU to collaborate more closely in the area of international education.
© Copyright 2019 Peter N. Baker