Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for a rethink of the Government’s planned Turing exchange scheme, after it emerged this week that the new programme would be significantly less generous and with fewer study opportunities than the Erasmus programme it was supposed to replace.
The Erasmus programme is an EU initiative in which young students have the opportunity to live and study in another country to gain new experiences and learn about different cultures. The UK had the choice to remain part of the scheme after leaving the EU but chose not to.
Mr Carmichael said:
“The Government said that its Turing replacement for Erasmus would be a step up – instead it is a big step back, with less support and fewer opportunities. Young people across the UK, including from the isles, have benefitted enormously from study exchanges in the past so it is a shame that these advantages are being lost.
“There is an easy fix. We do not have to be EU members to take part in Erasmus – as evidenced by the fact that the Government turned down an offer to be part of it in their trade deal with the EU. Rejoining the programme could be a quick win for everyone. If we want to see our children having more opportunities in future and not fewer then the Government needs to set aside its phobia of anything European.”