The impact of the Erasmus+ programme on higher education in Europe

  • Mariana Brandão Carola (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In line with the phenomenon of globalization, which involves the mobility of people, goods, services, money, information and ideas, international student mobility has been an important part of tertiary education over the past three decades. The Erasmus programme is one of the most well-known international mobility programmes worldwide. This thesis examines the objectives and features of the Erasmus+ programme and investigates its impact on European higher education. To do so, first I analysed the different stages of the Erasmus programme to understand its background. Second, I explored data on gender decomposition, fields of study, most popular countries of origin and destination, and higher education institutions with most incoming and outgoing Erasmus students in both Portugal and Europe. Moreover, I conducted a survey to former Portuguese Erasmus students to explore their perceptions about the success of the programme. The analysis of the data points out that there is an overrepresentation of female students in the programme. Social Science, Business & Law is the field of study with the highest proportion of Erasmus students. In addition, Germany is the country that sends most students abroad, while Spain is the country that receives most students under the Erasmus+ programme. The survey data also provide evidence that this programme plays an important role in addressing major societal challenges related to inclusion, diversity, digital and green transition, and young people’s participation in democratic life.
Date of Award1 Jul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorZahide Eylem Gevrek (Supervisor)


  • Erasmus+ programme
  • Higher education
  • Mobility
  • International students


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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