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Theresa May must not 'sell-out' students and ensure Erasmus is protected

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has warned the Prime Minister not to “sell-out” thousands of UK and EU students who face exclusion from Erasmus following the UK vote to leave the EU.

The Erasmus programme was set-up 30 years ago and provides domestic students with the opportunity to study at a university in Europe. Erasmus also allows international students to study at Scottish universities.

Since the programme began in 1987, over 200,000 students from the UK have benefited from the scheme and had their grants paid for through EU funding. However, following the EU referendum vote the UK faces exclusion from the programme.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Our membership of the EU and its benefits extends beyond global trade deals, access to key markets and immigration – it plays a pivotal role in allowing students to develop their skills and build networks with our European partners as well as studying in leading educational institutes.

“The truth of the matter is that Erasmus not only benefits those students who take up the opportunity to study abroad but also helps those domestic students who study at home alongside European students.

“UWS has over 1,000 students who were born elsewhere in the European Union and Renfrewshire is well aware of the positive contribution that those international students make to our local community.

“As the Erasmus programme reaches its 30-year mark, the Prime Minister must end her deafening silence and offer stability not a sell-out to students and ensure that programmes like the Erasmus scheme continue to celebrate many more years.”

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