Scottish students should take immediate advantage of the Scottish Government’s offer to fund their study in other European countries, SNP MEP Alyn Smith has said.
Speaking after Education Secretary Mike Russell announced the bursary payments and student loans that would be available for foreign study for the first time, Alyn said:
“This is fantastic news from the Scottish Government and underlines our commitment to being at the heart of Europe.
“When I was a student I took the opportunity to study in Poland as an Erasmus student, which was a fantastic experience which I cannot recommend enough. I am delighted that more students will now get that opportunity to broaden their horizons and get a greater understanding of another culture.
“Leaving home to study broadens horizons for all students and gives them a more rounded student experience, leading to richer lives and a better sense of their worlds – going abroad to study will enhance those advantages and make our next generation more adventurous.
“While the UK Government is cutting back on support for education and criticising Europe, the SNP Scottish Government has reconfirmed its commitment to education and to Europe with this financial boost. The outgoing, world-focused view of Scotland’s Government contrasts sharply with the narrow, insular and inward-looking view of the UK Government.
“Scottish students studying in other EU member states will be able to apply for the same amount of support as those studying at Scottish institutions for the first time ever. It is a fantastic testament to the outward looking perspective of Scotland and our Government.
“This pilot scheme will, I am sure, be a great success and I hope that it will be extended in the future.”