NICOLA Sturgeon’s authorities is to make a request to the Tory Authorities to permit Scottish college students to proceed to participate within the Europe-wide Erasmus change programme, The Nationwide can reveal.
An announcement is predicted within the coming hours with a press release to be made in Holyrood presumably this week, sources have mentioned.
One insider mentioned: “An announcement is to be made quickly.”
Later sources mentioned the request can be formally set out tomorrow.
Universities Minister Richard Lochhead advised The Nationwide at this time: “The UK Authorities’s determination to stroll away from Erasmus which is utilized by greater than 2,000 Scottish college students and younger individuals yearly is a large blow.
“I can be writing to the UK Authorities to precise my profound disappointment at this determination and their plans for a watered down various to the programme – all of which has been pushed by way of regardless of views of the Devolved Administrations.
“That is merely unacceptable and we’re taking a look at various choices.”
The First Minister final week condemned Boris Johnson’s determination to tug out of the Erasmus scheme – which is open to non EU members.
She tweeted: “Ending UK participation in Erasmus – an initiative that has expanded alternatives and horizons for thus many younger individuals – is cultural vandalism by the UK Authorities.”
Johnson opted to not proceed with UK membership of the Erasmus scheme because the deal between the EU and Britain was reached final week.
Johnson mentioned the UK would as a substitute set up its personal scheme with “the most effective universities on this planet”, to be named after the British computing pioneer Alan Turing.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, mentioned the Authorities “determined to not take part within the Erasmus change programme” after the 2 sides have been unable to agree on the price of Britain’s continued membership.
The omission of Erasmus from the UK-EU deal ends a scheme that had supplied pupil exchanges in addition to college hyperlinks, work expertise and apprenticeships throughout Europe since 1987. Beneath the most recent model of the scheme, Erasmus+, round 200,000 individuals have taken half together with round 15,000 British college college students annually.
Generally, the next non-EU members – or third nations – participate within the college change a part of the programme: Republic of North Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Serbia
Adam Tickell, the vice-chancellor of the College of Sussex, mentioned final week: “Leaving Erasmus is an actual unhappiness, a scheme whose unique foundations have been laid at Sussex. Over time the Erasmus programme reworked the lives of hundreds of younger individuals.”
In January, Johnson assured MPs there was “no menace to the Erasmus scheme”.
However confirming the top of membership, he mentioned on Thursday: “On Erasmus, it was a troublesome determination.”
He claimed the UK “loses out” financially due to the bigger variety of EU nationals coming to check within the UK.
“So what we’re doing is producing a UK scheme for college students to go all over the world,” the Prime Minister mentioned. “Will probably be known as the Turing scheme, named after Alan Turing, so college students may have the chance not simply to go to European universities however to go to the most effective universities on this planet. As a result of we would like our younger individuals to expertise the immense mental stimulation of Europe but additionally of the entire world.”
Vivienne Stern, the director of Universities UK Worldwide, mentioned: “It’s massively disappointing in any case this that we’re now not within the scheme, however it’s not shocking – I perceive that the European fee was not keen to budge on price.”
Stern mentioned she was happy on the prospect of a brand new nationwide plan to fund outward mobility, which she hoped would meet the prices of younger individuals travelling abroad.
“As I perceive it, there can be grants for younger individuals not simply in universities however broader than that, to assist research and presumably working and volunteering. These experiences assist graduates achieve employment, particularly for college students from low-income backgrounds who’re the least possible to have the ability to journey overseas in any other case,” Stern mentioned.
Any Erasmus alternative wanted to be “bold and absolutely funded”, she added. “It should additionally ship important alternatives for future college students to go international, which the Erasmus programme has supplied thus far.”
The brand new scheme just isn’t anticipated to fund college students coming to the UK, as Erasmus does now, which suggests British universities will miss out on a supply of revenue. A report earlier this yr mentioned ending Erasmus membership would price the UK greater than £200m a yr.