To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their requirements for the continuation of the UK's participation in the Erasmus+ programme beyond the 2021/22 academic year; whether they have any plans for a UK-only scheme if an agreement for such participation is not reached; and if so, what are the (1) principles, and (2) requirements, of any such scheme.
5 January 2021
As part of our negotiations with the EU about our future relationship, the government considered the EU programmes with which the UK was involved and decided whether or not we should continue to seek participation in these programmes.
Our public mandate set out that we would consider options for participation in elements of Erasmus+ on a time-limited basis, provided that the terms were in the UK’s interests. Unfortunately, the only terms on offer would have meant that the UK would have been likely to pay in around £2 billion more than we would get out over the term of the next programme. The government decided that that would not have provided value for money and be in the interests of the UK taxpayer.
Instead, as an independent and sovereign country, we will proceed with the introduction of a new international educational exchange scheme which has a genuinely global reach and which increases social mobility.
The newly announced Turing scheme, which replaces the UK’s participation in Erasmus+, will allow thousands of students to study and take part in work placements in the EU and beyond. The scheme will be backed by over £100 million, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges, and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting in September 2021.
The new scheme will also target students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country.
The programme will provide similar opportunities for students to study and work abroad as the Erasmus+ programme, but it will include countries across the world, and it aims to deliver greater value for money to taxpayers.
The government will set out further details in the coming weeks.