Ambassador of the European Union Jean-François Cautain hosted a reception at his residence to mark the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme alongside envoys from EU member states, Erasmus alumni and education sector stakeholders.
He said the programme began as an EU-only programme, and has benefited nine million students over its lifetime. He added that in 2004, the programme was opened up to international students.
“We opened it to the world because we believe in people-to-people contact and these students coming to the EU learn about our values and ways of life, but also explain their own to Europeans.
“So far, about 1,000 Pakistani students have benefited from this programme, which is not many.
“There are many reasons for that; one is that the scheme is not very well known in Pakistan and [the Higher Education Commission’s] support has been very important in promoting Erasmus here,” he said.
Kisa Fatima Haider, an Erasmus alumna, said she returned from studying in Italy, Spain and Portugal three months ago. Another alumna, Ujala Farooq, said she spent the first semester of her masters course in engineering in France, and then went to Prague and Spain before returning to France to defend her thesis.
Article First Appeared in Dawn.