SCOTLAND has received a record amount of cash from a European exchange scheme for students.
Almost 21 million euros – the equivalent of more than £18 million – has been received in Erasmus+ funding in 2017, and increase of almost 5 million euros on the previous year.
Brexit has put in doubt whether the scheme – which allows students to go abroad for three to 12 months – will be able to continue in the UK.
But this year 159 organisations in Scotland from further and higher education, as well as schools, youth projects and vocational education schemes, will receive cash.
More than half the cash will go to universities, who will receive 11.4 million euros, according to data from the British Council and Ecorys UK – the national agency which delivers the European Union scheme in the UK.
Meanwhile schools will receive 2.3 million euros, 4.75 million euros will go to organisations involved in vocational education and training, and 1.6 million euros for the adult education sector. In addition 756,000 euros will go to youth work organisations in Scotland.
Jackie Killeen, director of the British Council in Scotland, welcomed the news and said: “Enabling people and organisations in communities all over Scotland to learn from and share with their international counterparts is at the very heart of what we do.
“These new figures for Erasmus+ demonstrate the huge appetite across Scotland’s education and youth training sectors for international exchange, collaboration and partnership.
“They also show the strength of Scottish engagement with the European Union scheme in receiving this record allocation. As the UK continues to be a full EU member throughout 2018, successful applicants will be awarded funding for the duration of their project, so I would encourage the Scottish sector to maintain its strong and well-deserved record in engaging with Erasmus+.”
Ruth Sinclair-Jones, Erasmus+ UK National Agency Director, stated: “Scottish organisations have been very successful in bidding for Erasmus+ funding for a range of worthwhile projects, to improve the education and training landscape and the prospects of thousands of young people.
“The funding available to the UK in 2018 is at its highest to date, at around 170 million euros, and there are a few changes to the programme which should make it easier for organisations to apply.”
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