Date
21 September 2017
The EU says the student exchange program not only produced dual-nationality babies but also helped create opportunities for its participants. Photo: Intermet
The EU says the student exchange program not only produced dual-nationality babies but also helped create opportunities for its participants. Photo: Intermet

Student exchange scheme creates EU baby boom

A European student exchange program has successfully brought many nationalities together from across the continent in the 27 years since it was launched.

It has also spawned a million babies.

A study showed 27 percent of participants in the Erasmus exchange program met their life partner during their stay abroad.

Thirty-three percent hooked up with people of a different nationality than their own, nearly three times the rate of students who had not traveled.

That has created something of a baby boom, according to the study released by the European Union.

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for education, said one million babies are likely to have been born to Erasmus couples since 1987, citing estimates from the research.

European Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen called it a “touching little figure” that showed the scheme “creates a lot of positive things”, according to Ugandan news website New Vision.

“It is a great encouragement to young people to go and live abroad and open up to all the opportunities that exist if you are willing,” Hansen said.

The EU said the program’s achievements went beyond spawning dual-nationality babies — creating jobs as well as population growth.

With unemployment affecting one in five young people in a Europe increasingly gripped by economic stagnation, the EU said the Erasmus scheme played a vital role in increasing the job prospects of students who took part, according to New Vision.

“We can see from this impact study that young people who have been part of the Erasmus program are less likely to experience long-term unemployment,” Hansen said.

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