Hyslop And Smith On Erasmus

10 August 2005
Revealing figures that show the Erasmus programme is knackered (please paraphrase, incoming students are more than twice as many as outgoing students , causing funding problems for Scottish universities.

We want Erasmus to continue, so we must encourage greater exchange), Fiona Hyslop MSP and Alyn Smith MEP have called for increased support for students undertaking Erasmus study.

Ms Hyslop MSP said

"Erasmus is a programme to encourage students to study abroad for part of their university life and to encourage students to come here to study from other areas of the EU.

"Scotland's reputation as a centre for university education is serving us well in terms of encouraging students from abroad to come here to study, but the lack of Scottish students going abroad to study is threatening the viability of the scheme.

"This is partly due to language difficulties since Scottish pupils do not get enough encouragement to study modern languages at school, but to a great extent, the problem is lack of funding for the students. A small bursary is available, but when the consideration is how much extra debt there will be to add to student loan debt, the question for most students will be ‘can I afford it?'

"Ministers must start looking at the programme in its entirety and seeking to support our students in broadening their horizons. A substantial and important part of student life is the interplay of cultures and we should be doing all we can to encourage our young people to have an international outlook.

"education should be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay."

Mr Smith MEP said:

"I was lucky enough to take part in the Erasmus programme when I studied in Heidelberg for a year. The students were drawn from across Europe, and the interplay and interaction created bonds which have lasted over the years.

"I am concerned that the Scottish Executive is becoming a very inward- looking and parochial institution, frightened to look furth of Scotland for fear that they might see some nations forging ahead while Scotland lags behind.

"It's almost as if Jack and his team have decided to turn their collective back on the rest of the world and stare intently at Scotland's navel. Rather than managing the decline of Scotland, Ministers should be looking to encourage Scotland to grow, and our people to become European and world citizens.

"There was a time when all Scots students had to study abroad for a period in order to graduate. I wouldn't advocate a return to that, but I would encourage all those with the opportunity to take it.

"To make that happen, the Scottish Ministers have to be supporting the programme fully and ensuring that cost is not a barrier to an educational experience."

2002/03 UK Student and Teacher Mobility: outward and inward numbers for each HE Institution.

Home institution Student Mobility Teacher Mobility
Out In Out In
UK ABERDEE01 70 323 11 14
UK ABERDEE03 46 102 30 17
UK DUNDEE01 31 87 8 11
UK DUNDEE03 10 40 2 3
UK EDINBUR01 173 273 12 24
UK EDINBUR02 107 146 5 9
UK EDINBUR04 23 41 2 6
UK EDINBUR09 25 65 10 8
UK ELGIN01 0 7 5 5
UK GLASGOW01 137 407 12 21
UK GLASGOW02 150 357 25 18
UK GLASGOW03 24 34 4 0
UK GLASGOW08 46 88 7 8
UK HAMILTO01 3 8 7 2
UK INVERNE01 1 20 2 1
UK PAISLEY01 17 46 7 9
UK ST-ANDR01 39 51 8 5
UK STIRLIN01 49 60 2 9