Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today demanded the UK Government guarantee access to the Erasmus programme, following a new report from the Scottish Parliament's Education & Skills Committee.
Following an enquiry into Erasmus+, the Committee concluded:
- Erasmus+ is the most significant source of funding for providing opportunities for cultural exchange and embedding an international outlook in young people;
- Professionals and organisations in some sectors are particularly reliant on Erasmus+ funding and opportunities and may be severely affected by any risk of the UK losing its ability to participate in the programme;
- The Scottish Government should explore whether existing bodies, such as Education Scotland and British Council Scotland, could develop the framework for a national authority to support Scotland’s continued participation beyond 2020.
Tavish Scott said:
“Opportunities to study and train abroad as part of the EU’s Erasmus+ programme must be protected as Brexit negotiations continue.
“Young people, who overwhelmingly support remaining in the EU, shouldn't miss out on the chance to study in a different country. It is an experience which has enriched the lives of thousands of their predecessors.
"Scotland has a reputation for having some of the most prestigious universities in the world and they too benefit from talent from abroad.
“It is clear that losing access to the programme would be a step backwards for Scottish education. The Scottish Government should make plans now for how this can be avoided when the current funding ends in 2020. We can't rely on whatever deal Theresa May negotiates."