Campaign launched to retain study programme

Erasmus plus web

Groups such as YouthLink Scotland, Carers Scotland and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations have backed the launch of KeepErasmusPlus

7th December 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Youth and third sector organisations have joined forces to call for protection for an exchange programme which has benefited half a million people.

Brexit has left the fate of Britain's participation in the Erasmus+ study initiative at serious risk.

The programme enables people from throughout the European Union - especially those who can't otherwise afford it - to study, work, volunteer, teach and train in participating nations.

Groups such as YouthLink Scotland, Carers Scotland and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) have launched KeepErasmusPlus, which aims to ensure that Britain continues to benefit from the scheme.

Over the past 30 years, 600,000 people from the UK have taken part in Erasmus+, and between 2014 and 2020 it is estimated that it will be worth £793 million to the UK.

Third sector organisations are amongst those which have welcomed students and interns as part of the programme, and have expressed concern at its potential loss.

John Downie, public affairs director of SCVO, said: “Amidst the confusion of Brexit, it can be hard to pinpoint how it impacts our daily lives. Erasmus+ is but one of many EU programmes that are all too often overlooked, and little understood.

“The value in keeping young European citizens connected and engaged in society building is immeasurable, and Erasmus+ plays a central role in this. We are deeply concerned that Brexit jeopardises UK involvement in Erasmus+ and we urge policy makers to make sure a way is found to continue our participation.”

YouthLink’s Emily Beever, European campaign leader for KeepErasmusPlus, said: “In the midst of uncertainty on our future relationship with Europe, we say join us to celebrate the great success story of Erasmus+ in the UK.

“We would like to see the prime minister make a commitment to the continuation of Erasmus+, a programme that already involves non-EU members, including Iceland and Norway. This funding has given life-changing opportunities to young people from some of our most disadvantaged communities.”