Gavin Newlands MP calls for protection of Erasmus programme following Brexit vote
August 8, 2016
Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has highlighted figures from the European Commission showing that the University of West of Scotland is one of the top ‘receiving’ institutions of Erasmus students in the UK - and has called on the UK Government to commit to protecting the Erasmus scheme following the Brexit vote.
The figures, from 2014, show that a total of 338 students attended the University of West of Scotland as part of an Erasmus study programme, benefiting both the institution and students.
The Brexit vote has put the continued participation of the UK in the programme under threat, and the SNP has called for it to be protected so that students and universities can continue to reap the benefits of the scheme.
Gavin Newlands said: “The Erasmus programme has been hugely beneficial to our universities and students over the years, and it is absolutely vital that the UK Government commits to protecting it following the Brexit vote.
“The University of West of Scotland is a clear beneficiary of this programme, being one of the top destinations in the UK for European students using the programme in 2014 – allowing it to enhance its reputation as an international centre for learning.
“It is critically important that the UK Government makes a commitment to protect this scheme which enables Scotland’s universities to be accessed by students from across the continent, showcasing the very best of Scotland and giving them a desire to return and contribute to our economy in future as tourists and residents.
“Our students also benefit massively from the opportunity to take a year abroad in Europe, giving them the chance to experience new cultures and ways of learning, whilst becoming more open to different ways of life.
“The UK Government must make it clear that the Erasmus programme will be protected – so that our universities and our students can continue to benefit and participate in the fantastic scheme.”
Notes to Editors: List of the Top 500 higher education institutions receiving Erasmus students in 2013-2014: http://ec.europa.eu/education/library/statistics/2014/erasmus-receiving-institutions_en.pdf