Oh dear Nicola! VDL rejects Sturgeon’s EU plot for Scots return to scheme ‘Not possible’

Netherlands: Erasmus to attract 'more EU students' post-Brexit

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Dutch MEP Terry Reintke has written to the European Commission president pleading with her to readmit Scotland to the scheme, from which Britain has withdrawn as a result of quitting the bloc. However, Ms Reintke shared a copy of the former German defence minister’s response on Twitter, commenting: “This answer is not what we had hoped for.”

In her letter, Ms Von der Leyen said: “As one constituent nation of the UK, association to Erasmus+ is not possible for Scotland, separately.

“The only possibility for the UK is to associate as a whole, or not at all.

“The EU offered the United Kingdom full association to the Erasmus+ programme in exchange for the standard financial contribution from third countries participating in Union programmes.

“Following a year of constructive negotiations with the UK government, the decision was made in London not to pursue UK association to Erasmus+.”

Ms von der Leyen stressed the UK would be able to participate in Erasmus+ “to the extent possible for a non-associated third country”.

She cited as examples schemes including the Jean Monnet Actions and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees.

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She added: “In addition, two large actions covering higher education students and Vocational Education (VET) learners from Erasmus Programme Countries (EU27 and associated third countries) will offer limited possibilities to undertake mobility in non-associated third countries, including the UK.

”These actions will be in line with the European Education Area and the EU’s broader geopolitical objectives when it comes to its international partnerships worldwide, but they certainly do not reach the level of cooperation of available for Erasmus programme countries.”

Undeterred, Ms Reintke added: “We will continue to explore how Scotland and Wales could stay in Erasmus+.

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“Next step: Organise a debate on this in the European Parliament.

“Erasmus+ is a cornerstone in a peaceful continent– also beyond the EU.”

In December, after the UK and the EU agreed details of their post-Brexit trade deal, the Government published details of it replacement programme.

The Turing scheme will be backed by over £100 million, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting in September 2021.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson commented: We now have the chance to expand opportunities to study abroad and see more students from all backgrounds benefit from the experience.

“We have designed a truly international scheme which is focused on our priorities, delivers real value for money and forms an important part of our promise to level up the United Kingdom.

“These opportunities will benefit both our students and our employers, as well as strengthening our ties with partners across the world.”

International Education Champion, Sir Steve Smith, said: “I’m pleased to see that the govt is committed to international exchanges.

“So much of what makes education so rewarding for all is the chance for students and learners in schools, colleges and universities experience new cultures and, by doing so, develop new skills.

“This scheme represents a sizeable investment from the Government and I look forward to working with the Government to develop a scheme that will make real our commitment to Global Britain.”

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