Erasmus Policy

Putting Our Futures First: Reverse the Decision to Leave Erasmus+

This policy was passed at Young Liberals Winter Conference 2021.

Conference notes:

  1. Erasmus+ is an EU programme committed to life-long learning, covering higher education, school and adult education, vocational education and training (VET), youth, and sport
  2. Erasmus+ covers over 53% of university students in the UK who study abroad for a period of time
  3. Students who go abroad are 20% less likely to be unemployed six months after graduation
  4. 1/3 of Erasmus+ work placement students are offered a job at their host company upon graduation
  5. Erasmus+ includes the Jean Monnet Actions, which promotes EU studies
  6. Participation in Erasmus+ does not require membership of the EU
  7. The Turing scheme will replace the participation of the UK in Erasmus+
  8. The Turing scheme, from September 2021, intends to provide funding for approximately 35,000 students to undertake exchanges and go on placements abroad
  9. The Turing scheme aims to include countries across the world
  10. The Irish government have agreed to fund students in Northern Ireland on the Erasmus+ scheme
  11. Funding from Erasmus+ for youth organisations has supported vital youth work and engagement in the UK, playing a crucial role in the lives of young people
  12. Erasmus+ has had a positive impact on social mobility in the UK by supporting individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and providing them with new opportunities and experiences
  13. According to the European Commission, 1/3 of British people on Erasmus mobilities are from disadvantaged backgrounds
  14. Erasmus+ exchanges, involving countries which are close by, are particularly suitable to vocational students, people with family commitments, and people with special needs

Conference further notes:

  1. Erasmus+ provides students with ‘soft skills’ such as cultural insight, entrepreneurship, and independent thinking
  2. Erasmus+ students coming to the UK has economic benefits, in their participation in the economy, and cultural benefits, allowing UK students to see themselves as global citizens
  3. The participation of the UK’s young people in Erasmus+, enabling them to acquire and develop new skill sets, is economically beneficial to the UK
  4. International cooperation through Erasmus+ has been invaluable for improving education and training in the UK

Conference believes:

  1. It is in the best interests of the UK to remain a part of Erasmus+
  2. Withdrawing from the Jean Monnet Actions will have a detrimental impact upon teaching and research in higher education in the UK
  3. Efforts to create a scheme which extends beyond Europe should exist alongside participation in Erasmus+ and not replace it
  4. It will be impossible for Turing to replicate certain aspects of Erasmus+, including its strong brand, trusted reputation, established network of partners, and common framework to operate upon
  5. The inability to access the Erasmus+ scheme in England, Scotland, and Wales may disincentivise Northern Irish students from studying there
  6. EU students will be disincentivised from coming to the UK and be more likely to go to other countries participating in Erasmus+
  7. Individuals with disabilities, with additional medical needs, and from disadvantaged backgrounds will be disproportionately affected by the UK no longer participating in Erasmus+

Conference calls for:

  1. The Young Liberals to campaign for UK membership of Erasmus+
  2. The Young Liberals to call upon the Liberal Democrats to campaign for UK membership of Erasmus+
  3. Turing to not be exclusive to university students, instead embracing the range of options covered by Erasmus+, such as vocational education and training (VET)
  4. Turing to match the provisions set out in the Jean Monnet Actions to support teaching and research in EU studies in UK universities
  5. Turing to consider differing living costs when determining grants, as Erasmus+ does, to provide the financial support that individuals need
  6. Turing to provide additional support for individuals with disabilities or additional needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and for placements on offer to be flexible, in order to make the scheme accessible to all
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