Students in Scotland are facing a nearly £15m funding black hole after it was revealed the UK Government’s Turing scheme will short-change students when compared to the Erasmus scheme.
The Scottish Government has been awarded £7.88m to support students in Scotland to study in Europe. In stark contrast Erasmus provided around £22m of funding.
There have been reductions in funding for students in higher education from £13.7m under Erasmus to £6.7m with Turing.
Also, under Turing, support for Further Education/Vocational Education and Training has plummeted to £556,000 compared to £4m that was provided through Erasmus in the previous year.
Commenting, Gordon MP Richard Thomson said:
“The dire consequences of Brexit just continue for the people of Scotland, with our young people now potentially being denied the opportunity to work and study across 27 other EU countries as a result of this nearly £15m funding shortfall.
“The Turing scheme is a shadow of the Erasmus scheme and has significant differences with regard to the funding of students.
The Turing Scheme does not cover tuition fees for UK participants undertaking a study placement abroad. Instead, the UK Government expects tuition fees to be waived by host institutions for those participating in the new scheme.
Another difference is that the Turing Scheme will only fund student mobilities - there is no funding for staff exchanges, youth services exchanges, or funding for partnerships and collaborative projects, which were very important elements of Erasmus.
In addition, the Turing Scheme is not reciprocal and incoming students will not be funded. The UK Government’s decision not to include funding for participants to come to the UK has prompted concern that it will lead to a decrease in inbound exchange students and the loss of benefits that they bring to Scotland.
“Scotland’s young people are being short-changed and have seen their opportunities narrowed by this Conservative Government and their Brexit obsession. It was in the best interests of students that the Prime Minister insisted on the UK re-joining Erasmus, but instead he has created his own scheme that makes it more difficult for students to take their studies further afield.”