18 May 2018

MSP Warns UK Tory Government Not To Abandon Erasmus+

Banff School Benefited from over £10,000 Funding

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has warned that the highly popular Erasmus+ scheme is in danger as a result of the UK Tory Government’s position on a hard Brexit.

The Erasmus+ scheme aims to promote and modernise education, training, youth work and sport across Europe, and gives students from a variety of backgrounds the opportunity to live, work and study in other European countries.

In the Aberdeenshire Council area, over €150,000 has been received from the Erasmus+ scheme in the last 3 years, with over €10,000 going to Banff Primary School alone to assist with language development.

A report by Holyrood’s Culture Committee has recommended that the Scottish Government should explore whether it would be possible for Scotland to continue participating in Erasmus+ as a programme country if the UK Government will not commit to the scheme beyond 2020.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“Aberdeenshire has received over €150,000 funding across many individual projects from the EU’s Erasmus+ scheme since 2014 – including significant funding locally, such as €10,825 to Banff Primary School.

“And it is not just monetary benefits we stand to lose if pull out of Erasmus+ – our universities, businesses and research bodies will miss out on opportunities for international collaboration and our young people will be denied the chance to engage in, as they themselves describe it, life-changing experiences if the Tories pull out of Erasmus+ after 2020.

“The future of EU research funding, the Erasmus+ programme and freedom of movement is crucial to the future success of our world-renowned academic institutions, and it is extremely worrying that the Department for Exiting the European Union’s sectoral report on higher education failed to even mention Erasmus+.

“Nearly two years since the EU referendum, the Westminster Government needs to appreciate the opportunities that will be lost and start limiting the damage Brexit will cause. They can start by ensuring we remain part of Erasmus+.”

Stewart Stevenson
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