EU plot: MEPs bid to bypass Brexit with offer to keep Erasmus open to Scotland and Wales

Netherlands: Erasmus to attract ‘more EU students’ post-Brexit

Italian MEP Salvatore De Meo outlined the plan, stating that some critical issues have emerged as a result of the post-Brexit agreement between the UK and the trading bloc. Mr De Meo labelled the UK Government’s decision to not participate in the Erasmus programme as a “great disappointment.”

The Italian MEP told RAI Parlamento: “A month after the agreement with Europe, some critical issues have already emerged.

“Doubts arise about the absence from the agreement of rules on financial services and foreign policy, but also on the recognition of professional qualifications which in fact limits the movement of workers between the two countries.

“Finally, the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the Erasmus programme was a great disappointment, which is why we asked the Commission to keep the programme active for the citizens of the United Kingdom or at least for those governments interested such as the Welsh and Scottish ones.”

The Erasmus Programme is a European Union student exchange programme that was established in 1987.

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The UK Government has announced that a new scheme will replace the Erasmus scheme in Britain.

The £110m Turing scheme will support UK students on work and study placements abroad from September. 

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stated that the EU exchange scheme would hit the UK with a £2 billion bill.

Mr Williamson stated that this was many times the cost of the new British replacement.

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The Education Secretary said: “We would end up facing a net contribution of £2 billion to the EU over and above any sort of benefit.

“Frankly that to me does not seem to me to be particularly good value.

“Actually I just don’t think you could really justify sinking £2 billion into EU coffers for a scheme that wouldn’t have been as good.”


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Michelle Donelan, the UK Government’s Universities Minister, said: “In these unprecedented times, having a proactive global education agenda is more important than ever so we can build back better from the pandemic.

“Our world-class education is a vital part of our economy and society, and we want to support universities, schools, colleges and all aspects of the education sector to thrive across the globe.”

The UK Government has outlined a target of getting more than half a million students to participate within the next decade. 

The revised strategy, led by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for International Trade, will reaffirm the Government’s commitment to recruit at least 600,000 international students to the UK by 2030.

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