Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Boris Johnson says the Erasmus scheme isn’t under threat. Do you trust him? | Layla Moran

The Erasmus mobility scheme changes young people’s lives. The Lib Dems will fight relentlessly to keep it.

I never thought I’d see a student exchange programme trend on Twitter. People have told stories of studying and working abroad through Erasmus, sharing tales of friendships built, skills learned, and lives changed. Why? Because MPs voted against my amendment to keep the UK in Erasmus after the Brexit transition period. And people are angry.

The benefits of Erasmus are sobvious to the thousands of people who take part in the programme. Each year, more than 17,000 students at UK universities study or work abroad as part of their degree. They go because Erasmus has made studying abroad attractive and affordable. The EU gives them a monthly living grant, with young people from low-income backgrounds receiving higher bursaries and travel grants.

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Beware a closing of the British mind if we abandon European endeavours | Nick Cohen

Post-Brexit, we should be wary of spurning joint projects in science and education

Leaving the EU will produce the greatest loss of freedom since the Second World War. The freedom of businesses to trade with Europe dominates politics. But I suspect the loss of the freedom of the individual to live and work where they want in the EU, to fall in love and bring home whoever they choose and, above all, the freedom to think and study what they will and where they please will be the hardest to bear.

You can see Britain’s horizons shrinking. The Liberal Democrats attempted to force ministers to commit to keeping Britain in the Erasmus programme that sends students to learn in EU universities. The government ordered its MPs to vote the motion down. One in six academic staff in higher education comes from elsewhere in the EU and science departments once had great success in persuading bright European PhD students to enrich research here. The Wellcome Trust tells me students are already looking elsewhere and we haven’t even left yet; applications from the rest of the EU for its junior fellowships have fallen by 25% since the referendum. Yet when scientists ask government to keep the movement of researchers as painless as possible, it makes the right noises but does nothing.

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UK ‘committed’ to maintaining Erasmus+ exchange scheme

DfE says government wants to ensure students can continue to benefit from European exchange scheme

The government has said it is committed to maintaining the UK’s membership of the Erasmus+ programme, which funds opportunities for young people to train and study across Europe, despite shooting down an attempt to make its membership a priority in EU withdrawal negotiations.

A Liberal Democrat-backed amendment to the withdrawal agreement bill, requiring the government to seek continued participation in Erasmus+, was defeated by Conservative MPs, raising fears that the UK could abruptly withdraw from the programme.

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Thanks to the Erasmus programme, my small world grew big | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

A year studying in Europe was the making of me, but this opportunity may now be lost for future generations

The end of the decade prompted, for me, a brief reactivation of Facebook in order to remind myself what I’d been up to 10 years ago. Getting drunk with a load of Europeans, it turned out. The pictures show us on a succession of sweaty nights out, grinning after too many Long Island iced teas (chosen because you got the maximum bang for your buck), our sense of affectionate comradeship clear from the arms we have thrown around one another, our faces smushed together. I had been studying in Italy, living in a hall of residence with a mix of Italians and foreign exchange students, as part of the Erasmus programme – an EU student foreign exchange scheme founded in 1987, now known as Erasmus+.

On Wednesday night, as part of Brexit legislation, MPs voted down an amendment that would have required the government to negotiate continued membership of Erasmus+. A Department for Education spokesman later said: “The government is committed to continuing … the next Erasmus+ programme,” but added the ominous caveat, “if it is in our interests to do so.” But its lack of real interest in this important scheme makes me truly sad. Contrary to the story told by the photographs, Erasmus meant so much more to me than a year of partying. It opened the world to me.

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