Local MSP Gil Paterson is highlighting calls for the Westminster Tory Education Secretary Damian Hind to end uncertainty over the Erasmus+ programme, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport.
SNP Education Spokesperson at Westminster Carol Monaghan MP, pressed Mr Hind to commit to further funding in 2019/20 for students currently studying, and planning to study, in Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. Young people can study, volunteer and gain work experience abroad, to develop new skills, gain vital international experience and boost their employability.
Staff can teach or train abroad, to develop their professional practice, build relationships with international peers, and gain fresh ideas and UK organisations can collaborate with international partners, to drive innovation, share best practice, and offer new opportunities to young people.
Last week, the European Commission issued a guarantee that, in case of a no-deal Brexit, current Erasmus students will be able to complete their stay without interruption “provided that the United Kingdom honours its financial obligations under the EU budget."
Speaking to the Herald Mr Paterson said:
“Since 2014 Scotland has received €60 million from this scheme which allows students from all over the EU to travel, study and experience new cultures.
“It provides opportunity to students who would otherwise not be able to afford to study abroad and benefit from that experience.
“Erasmus encourages some of the brightest minds to come together, to work together to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face today.
“The Tory Westminster government must follow the EU’s lead and commit to funding all 2019/20 Erasmus+ placements.
“The Brexit negotiations have been utterly and completely shambolic, Erasmus+ cannot be put at risk by an incompetent UK government putting party interests before country interests especially those of our young people.”