MANILA – Sixty-five Filipino scholars are set to leave for Europe this August to pursue higher education under the European Union's (EU) Erasmus+ Programme.

Erasmus+, the bloc's mobility and scholarship initiative, allows students to pursue their master's and doctorate degree in more than one EU member state.

This year's batch of Filipino scholars will be studying in various universities in Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium, France, Turkey, Finland, Portugal, Estonia, the Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania, Sweden, and Hungary.

On Thursday, EU Ambassador Luc Véron said the Philippines has consistently ranked as among the top 10 countries with the highest number of Erasmus+ scholars in the world from 2004 to 2020.

"Competition was tough with 15,000 applications worldwide. You should give yourselves a big pat on the back," Véron said, addressing the latest set of Filipino scholars.

“I encourage you to become agents of social change and transformation for the Philippines and to become goodwill ambassadors for the partnership and friendship between the EU and the Philippines," he added.

The 65 scholars will be sent off in a virtual ceremony on Aug. 5 in collaboration with Campus Erasmus comprised of Erasmus+ scholars in the country.

Erasmus +, formerly called the Erasmus Mundus Programme, promotes the EU as a center of excellence in learning and making student mobility a reality for EU and non-EU citizens alike.

Aside from education, it provides "life-changing opportunities" for Filipino students to experience European culture, learn European languages and be integrated into European society for one to two years. (PNA)