MP Says UK May Join Erasmus if Labor Party Wins Election

Erasmus+ program

If the Labour Party wins the next General Election, the UK and Scotland may join the EU’s Erasmus+ program again, the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray, said in an interview.

He made these comments during an interview with The Herald, saying that rejoining the exchange program is in the national interest.

“If joining the Erasmus scheme is in the national interest it would certainly be something that is on the table,” he said, responding to the question if his party would take Scotland and the UK back into the program.

After the United Kingdom left the European Union, it also decided to leave the Erasmus program, which many students and universities considered a loss. The UK decided to replace the program with its program, the Turing Scheme, named after the famous mathematician and computer scientists Alan Turing.

However, after Brexit, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, allowed the UK to remain in Erasmus despite leaving the EU, but the EU’s chief negotiator at the time, Michel Barnier said that the UK did not want to participate in Erasmus program, the Herald reports.

The Turing Scheme received 520 applications for the 2022/23 academic year, an increase from 412 in 2021/22.

“Applications increased across all sectors. 316 projects were approved to receive grant funding totalling £106,108,760 with participants expected to undertake study, school exchanges, and industry work placements in over 160 destinations across the globe,” the Turing Scheme website reads.

One of the differences between the Turing Scheme and the Erasmus program is that the latter is mainly EU-focused, while the Turing Scheme is a global program.

After UK's exit from EU, the number of European students in the United Kingdom has also been impacted, with data by UCAS showing a 47 percent drop in EU acceptances from 2020 to 2021. Moreover, the number of undergraduate applications by European students decreased by 37 percent during the same period.

A recent report, “The International Student Recruitment from Europe: The Road to Recovery,” called on the government and universities across the UK to make European student recruitment a priority after Brexit due to concerns that the country could lose its reputation among European students.

The analysis revealed that students from the top ten countries sending most students to study in the UK have been less interested in studying in the UK between 2019 and 2022.

Meanwhile, as data by Erudera indicate, the number of EU students in the UK pursuing undergraduate studies is 109,145.

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