Minister meets Erasmus+ exchange students in Aberdeen

4 Feb 2020 11:25 AM

Efforts to be stepped up to protect further and higher education after Brexit.

The Scottish Government is stepping up its efforts to ensure further and higher education is protected after Brexit, including the country's involvement on the flagship EU exchange programme, Erasmus+.

Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead yesterday met with a group of European students currently on Erasmus+ exchange at Aberdeen University

The future of Erasmus+ – the EU’s leading cultural and educational project that has run for 30 years – remains in doubt, now the UK has kick-started final negotiations over the conditions to leave the bloc.

The whole of the UK’s involvement in the scheme has been threatened since Westminster MPs voted in January against a clause to the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill that would have mandated the UK Government to seek full membership of the programme. No solid plans for any potential replacement have yet been decided.

Proportionally more Scots take part in Erasmus+ than from any other country in the UK. Between 2014 and 2018, 14,000 participants from Scotland reaped the benefits of the EU-led scheme, securing over 90 million euros in funding.

At the start of this academic year there were 2,655 European students from 33 countries at Aberdeen University, and 709 staff – 17% of its workforce - giving it one of the largest European campus populations in Scotland.

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