Fine Gael’s Colm Markey has called for the United Kingdom to rejoin the EU’s Erasmus programme.
The Midlands-North-West MEP made the comments during a meeting of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, taking place in Westminster this week.
Markey said students are losing out after the UK exited the scheme three years ago:
“Erasmus transcends political boundaries and has played a pivotal role in fostering cross-cultural understanding, not only within the European Union but in associated third countries from Norway to Turkey.
It was a real shame that the UK decided to leave the programme in 2020. The decision meant that thousands of students have missed out on the enriching experience it offers.
The British Government’s replacement scheme is a poor substitute and doesn’t cater for incoming students. With relations between the EU and the UK thankfully improving and given the UK has decided to rejoin the EU Horizon research programme, now is the time to consider coming back into Erasmus.
The scheme offers substantial benefits, serving as a well-established brand that facilitates student’s personal growth, enhances language skills, and opens avenues for future job opportunities. The updated programme further emphasises equal opportunities by actively supporting the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
I believe that by bringing the UK back into the scheme, we can build on our new relationship and further strengthen our ties.”