Students encouraged to study in EU states


SOME 4,000 Irish students took part in European Commission sponsored study initiatives in the last academic year, according to a senior commission official.

Jan Truszczynski, director general of the commission’s department for education and culture, said yesterday that students had taken part in study programmes at foreign universities under the Erasmus programme or in work placements under the Leonardo da Vinci programme.

He was speaking at The Irish Times Higher Options exhibition. The commission is one of more than 130 exhibitors at the event that offers students key information on college options.

More than 8,000 students attended the conference yesterday and more than 25,000 are expected to attend over the three days.

The commission’s Youth on the Move initiative is being showcased at the exhibition. This is designed to assist students in finding education and work through Europe and to promote Europe as a common body with many countries participating, according to Gerry O’Sullivan, head of European programmes at the Higher Education Authority.

“Students who spend some period of their education abroad, come back better educated, better skilled, more open to working within Ireland and within other European countries with a multinational, multi-ethnic, multicultural environment,” Mr O’Sullivan said. “The personal development that they achieve during this period expands their horizons.”

Mr Truszczynski said the commission has proposed a substantial increase in funding for education, training and youth for the next funding programme (2014-2020) in a programme called Erasmus for All, to double the number receiving grants.

Higher Options continues from 9am to 3pm daily until tomorrow at the RDS Simmonscourt. Tickets are available at the door. Details from

To view video of the Irish Times Higher Options exhibition visit