Nikola Benin PhD
With more people obtaining invaluable skills and experience, and finding jobs thanks to Erasmus+ placements, economic growth is more attainable. Yet economic growth needs to be sustainable, rather than a ’boom and bust’ cycle. Portuguese Education Minister and Erasmus+ alumni, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, believes that education is key. He said: ‘Sustainable development can only exist if there’s good quality education made available for everyone. It’s not only about teaching sustainability, the fact that we promote excellence in education and that good-quality education is made available to all, especially to those in disadvantaged groups, is a way to effectively tackle societal issues and help build a sustainable economy.’
Fair, accessible education must be partnered with innovation and job creation to provide continual prosperity for the economy. Since education provides the tools to get a job and there should be available employment so the economy can continuously thrive.
However, there is more to sustainability than the economy. It is also vital to protect the future of the planet itself by preventing climate change. Erasmus+ funds innovative projects that reduce consumption and production, and those that promote the use of affordable and clean energy like ESSENCE (European Sustainable Solutions for Existing and New City Environments).
Furthermore as more and more of Europeans are moving to cities, projects like Urban Green Train are essential for our future. The project teaches urban agriculture and encourages those living in metropolitan neighbourhoods to utilise their space to limit their environmental impact.
Teaching the next generation how to take care of the planet and the economy is fundamental to the prosperity of the continent. This is why Erasmus+ is behind teaching exchanges and programmes so we can protect our future.