The meeting in Barcelona allowed one hundred national and foreign students to exchange the personal, academic and administrative experiences that they have had thanks to the Erasmus programme
The Main Lecture Theatre in the Historic Building of the University of Barcelona (UB) hosted a meeting to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus Programme on 16 May. Presiding over the meeting were the rector of the UB, Joan Elias, the general secretary for Universities, Jorge Sáinz, and Pablo Martín, director of the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE). The participants were 125 students who had taken part or are participating in the Erasmus programme and who had been chosen to represent the wide range of students who sign up for the programme. Among these students was Natàlia Hermoso, student on the Bachelor’s Degree in Law at the URV, who completed an Erasmus visit at the University of South Wales in the United Kingdom during the 2014/15 academic year.
It was a unique moment in which the students participated in group activities, games and speeches to reflect on the opportunity to study in another country, to discuss everything that could be improved with the Erasmus programme and to listen to some of the very first ever Erasmus students explain how the programme has improved since their early experiences.
During his opening speech, rector Joan Elias emphasised that the Erasmus programme has two sides to it: the institutional and the individual. Regarding the former, he said that the programme had been a “modernising element” for universities and was a “commitment to the future”. In terms of the latter, he highlighted the personally enriching nature of the Erasmus experience, which also “benefitted both host and home institutions”. The general secretary for Universities stated that “mobility is key to the future of our society” and also took a moment to remember the victims of the accident in Freginals in March last year. For his part, Pablo Martín pointed to the importance of the seminar in Barcelona at a time when “we are halfway through the current programme and need to decide what we will do after 2020”.