Campaign Response: Erasmus+ Programme in the UK

I have been contacted by constituents about the Erasmus+ Programme in the UK.

As the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, I have included below my response:

The Turing Scheme gives students the chance to develop new skills, gain vital international experience and boost their employability. They can also develop a wide range of soft skills, language skills and a better understanding of other cultures.

Therefore, I am delighted universities, schools and further education colleges have been awarded grants from the £110 million scheme, enabling over 40,000 students to study and work abroad in over 160 destinations across the globe. Over £105 million of funding has been allocated this year for more than 22,800 Higher Education placements, more than 10,500 further education and Vocational Education and Training placements, and more than 6,700 school placements.

The Turing Scheme has significant advantages over the Erasmus+ programme, with higher numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds able to study abroad. In 2014/15, those with parents in managerial or professional occupations from the UK were taking part in Erasmus+ at a rate 50 per cent higher than those whose parents had working-class jobs. By contrast, under the Turing Scheme, nearly two-thirds of participants this academic year are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Overall, the Turing Scheme is widening access to international opportunities, with 22,800 higher education placements this year compared to 16,596 under Erasmus+ in the 2019/20 academic year.

That is why I am pleased the Turing Scheme is at the heart of the Government's post-Brexit vision where young people have greater opportunities to experience other cultures and learn vital skills for life and work, regardless of their background.

I note the calls of the Young European Movement for the Erasmus+ Programme to be reinstated in the UK. The Government has no plans to reinstate Erasmus and is instead delivering the innovative Turing Scheme.

Thank you to those constituents who took the time to contact me about this issue.