More Irish students will have the opportunity to study abroad thanks to a new Erasmus loan guarantee to be implemented in 2014.
The total increase in funding comprises 40%. It will be available to all Irish Higher Education institutions.
The loan comes as part of the renovation of the existing Erasmus study-abroad scheme available to students.
Once implemented, the new Erasmus For All scheme will run for seven years, with review in 2020.
It has arisen as a result of the combination of a number of smaller programmes, including the Lifelong Learning Programme, international cooperation programmes, and Youth in Action.
Erasmus for All will contribute to Europe 2020, the EU’s emerging reform strategy for jobs and growth.
It aims to help young people gain more and better skills by learning and training abroad; improve teaching quality in Europe; and promote youth participation in society. It is hoped that it will be simpler, more efficient, and easier to use than existing schemes.
Alicia O'Rourke, of the Dublin European Union offices, has said that the new loan will present students with increased possibilities for foreign study. She said that students would be provided with significant opportunity for "language learning, international experience, and intercultural understandings".
Approximately 2,000 students availed of the scheme in 2013. The Erasmus programme was established in 1987 and is open to 33 countries: Member States of the European Union, EU candidate countries and EFTA / EEA members.