Rurasmus, from 2021
Elisabeth Leitner, Roland Gruber


Rurasmus is an initiative for a European ‘countryside semester’ as an addition to the established Erasmus programme, allowing young people to develop a new perspective on rural Europe. It arose in response to the structural changes currently affecting rural areas, which are leading to an exodus of young people and so to infrastructure becoming even sparser. From 2021, a collaboration between municipalities and universities will see villages, small towns and regions become temporary university locations in a pioneer stage, and by 2026 they are set to be included in the regular curricula. Challenges on the ground are taken up as assignments for the students, who have a chance to learn first-hand and in turn introduce a fresh energy. The resulting networks help to bridge the divide between urban and rural Europe while students build a new relationship with the countryside.

With thanks to the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development.