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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04326: Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to ensure that students from Scotland will continue to be able to participate in the Erasmus programme post-Brexit.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 November 2016

Scotland’s participation in Erasmus+, the EU’s 2014-2020 Education, Training, Youth and Sport Programme, is in line with our aims to promote Scotland as a learning nation and to increase student and staff mobility, and brings strong educational, employability, cultural and economic benefits. Scotland’s preference would be to continue full participation in Erasmus+.

Erasmus+ 2014-2020 is delivered by the British Council with Ecorys under contract to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with and on behalf of the four nations of the UK. The Scottish Government has received assurances that the EU Referendum result has no immediate effect on learners, staff or volunteers from Scotland. The Scottish Government continues to seek assurances covering the medium and longer term.

The verdict from Scotland’s universities and from the UK’s research bodies could not be clearer – leaving the EU would have potentially devastating effects for Scotland’s higher education sector. The Scottish Government’s starting point is to protect our relationship with, and place in, the European Union. The Scottish Government will publish proposals over the coming weeks that would allow Scotland to stay in the single market and to preserve aspects of our relationship with the EU, even if the rest of the UK is intending to leave.