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  • Erasmus Question to Universities Minister: 02/03/20
Dr Whitford questions the Minister for Brexit in Parliament as shown in Parliament Live

Erasmus Question to Universities Minister: 02/03/20

I used Education Questions as an opportunity to ask the Universities Minister why the Government was failing to commit the UK to permanent access to the Erasmus Programme. This is a programme which allowed 17,000 UK university students to study abroad in 2017 alone, as well as allowing international students to strengthen our innovation as a country by choosing to study in the UK.

The relevant exert from Hansard can be viewed below:

What plans he has to ensure UK access to EU educational and research programmes after the transition period; and if he will make a statement?

I stress that the UK remains open to participation in elements of Erasmus+ on a time-limited basis, provided that the terms are in the UK’s interests. The UK will consider a relationship in line with non-EU member state participation in certain EU programmes, including Horizon Europe.

As the Minister says herself, the proposal for the future EU relationship suggests that the Government will take part in only certain elements of Erasmus+ and only for a time-limited period. Will she explain what it is about the Erasmus+ scheme that the Secretary of State thinks is not beneficial? Why on earth would participation be on just a temporary basis?

I am sure that we can all agree that the Erasmus scheme offers a wonderful opportunity for international mobility for students. However, it is vital that we utilise our exit from the European Union to ensure that such programmes deliver for everybody in our country, which is why we will make sure that we proceed in our best interests and why we will sign up only if it is on the terms of the UK’s interests.

About the author 

Heather Knox

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