To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the domestic scheme to replace Erasmus+ set up by Switzerland; and if no such assessment has been made, what plans they have to assess the effectiveness of the Swiss replacement scheme before committing to a UK domestic alternative.
15 December 2020
Participation in Erasmus+ is subject to our ongoing negotiations with the EU.
In parallel with the negotiations, we are continuing to develop a UK-wide domestic alternative to Erasmus+ as a contingency measure. The Spending Review 2020 committed funding to prepare for a UK-wide domestic alternative, in the event that the UK no longer participates in Erasmus+, to fund outward global education mobility schemes. The government will set out further details on this potential scheme in due course.
As part of our ongoing preparations towards this potential scheme, we have looked at comparable schemes across the globe, including the Swiss European Mobility Scheme. The Department for Education is in regular contact with the Swiss government to discuss education-related matters, maintaining an open dialogue and holding discussions to share insights and best practice, including on the Swiss exchange scheme.
Youth and sport are the responsibility of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and it has been considering the provision of a domestic alternative scheme for the youth elements of Erasmus+ as part of the recent Spending Review. Funding was not, however, allocated to a domestic alternative to the youth element of Erasmus+ at the Spending Review.
Erasmus+ Sport is a very small part of the programme, representing only 1.8% of the overall budget. We are already investing significant sums of money in sport programmes which align with Erasmus+ Sport themes and objectives, and do not consider that there is a need to create a specific domestic alternative programme to replace Erasmus+ Sport activities. For example, through Sport England, we are investing more than £1.2 billion from the 2016 financial year to the 2021 financial year on grassroots sport and physical activity programmes.