The Erasmus programme was launched in 1987 enabling students to study at a higher education institution in another European Union country. In the first year fewer than 1,000 UK students participated. Since then, the programme has developed to include 28 countries in Europe and under the International Credit Mobility stream, nearly all countries in the world.
The programme now also includes work placements, teaching staff exchanges and staff training as well as volunteering opportunities. By 2015/16 more than 40,000 people from the UK had been abroad on the Erasmus+ scheme to study, train, volunteer or gain professional experience.