On Tuesday I led a debate in Parliament on the Turing Scheme, the UK Government's replacement for Erasmus.
The loss of the Erasmus scheme was a blow to universities and students across the UK. Living and studying abroad can be of huge benefit young people. It helps build international relationships, and is a key part of how the UK presents itself on the world stage.
The UK Government’s replacement is riddled with flaws and is fundamentally one-sided. It doesn’t offer any element of reciprocity and has made it incredibly difficult for institutions to set up long-term partnerships. In the debate I raised a number issues that the government needs to address, including the decision deadlines, the lack of multi-year funding, and the level of financial support provided to students abroad.
The Scottish Government have also been dragging their feet on their promised replacement for the Erasmus scheme, with students missing out in the meantime. The Taith scheme in Wales, which was introduced by Liberal Democrats, shows that there is no excuse for not having brought in a reciprocal exchange scheme.