I noted with interest that the Welsh Government is to establish its own version of the Erasmus education exchange programme and would urge the Scottish Government to do likewise.
With Brexit, the UK Government has withdrawn from the EU’s highly-successful Erasmus scheme, which offered student exchanges as well as school links and work experience.
The UK Government’s replacement, the Turing Scheme, includes a fraction of the benefits provided to students under Erasmus. Free tuition and travel expenses have been scrapped, except for the most disadvantaged students and the cost-of-living allowance has been slashed by a fifth. In addition, the Turing scheme does not extend to staff exchanges and funding will also not be reciprocal, meaning that international partner institutions will not be supported for any exchanges coming to the UK.
By contrast, the Welsh Government said its scheme would support, as far as possible, the entire range of activities that had been available to learners in Wales under Erasmus. It will fill in many of the gaps, including, crucially, the commitment to long-term funding, the retention of the principle of two-way exchanges and the inclusion of youth work.
The loss of Erasmus is an act of cultural vandalism, but the Scottish Government has the opportunity to follow Wales and deliver a scheme that delivers to some extent the benefits of the programme.
Beach bid brilliant
RE THE Dons “working closely” with the city council on plans for a beach stadium, this would be brilliant for Aberdeen city centre businesses for decades to come.
AFC and Aberdeen City Council need to do all they can to make this happen, especially off the back of what’s gone on over the last year.
This would be a massive boost to the city centre and local economy.
Blocking a third wave
I can’t believe that Boris Johnson said we can expect a third wave of coronavirus to arrive on our shores from Europe – when we are an island and we could make everyone who arrives from Europe quarantine.