Liberal Youth’s Save Erasmus competition – Deadline approaching

Liberal Youth are campaigning to save the Erasmus exchange programme in future Brexit negotiations. This week they are running a competition to send a group of campaigners to the European Parliament 7th-8th November. Former Erasmus exchange students and exchange programme hopefuls are invited to share their stories as part of a video montage. MEP Catherine Bearder will invite a group to present a Save Erasmus petition in Brussels. The deadline for entries is midnight 18th October. Find out more here.

Over 10,000 people have backed a petition to safeguard the UK’s involvement in the Erasmus programme. Party members overwhelmingly passed a motion to call for the guaranteed continuation of the Erasmus programme and Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson John Pugh wrote to Brexit minister David Davis demanding he make this clear commitment.

“Erasmus unlocks so many opportunities for students across Europe. It enriches their cultural knowledge and understanding of people from all walks of life, providing life-changing experiences to thousands. As proud internationalists, the Liberal Democrats cannot allow the Tories to put this in jeopardy” said Liberal Youth Chair, Charlie Kingsbury.

Join our campaign to Save Erasmus, sign the petition today.

* Vicky Nevin is the Lib Dem Youth and Student Development Officer

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  • Richard Butler 12th Oct '16 - 5:54pm

    Erasmus, right at the top of concerns for working class kids…

    I once dated a Kiwi, she was travelling g Europe with a load of Kiwis on a Kontiki exchange. Hi stay guys, I know change and Revolution can be a bit scary, but things are going to fine.

  • Andrew McCaig 12th Oct '16 - 9:45pm

    Richard Butler
    What a sadly patronising attitude to working class kids!

  • Isn’t Erasmus primarily a tool to encourage students to be be pro EU. I doubt the EU will be that interested in the UK when we leave.

    It would be nice to know if it has had any positive effect on social mobility, or if it’s mainly used by children of the liberal elite.

  • Peter Watson 12th Oct '16 - 11:56pm

    A HEFCE report in 2010 found that UK participants were “disproportionately young, female, white and middle-class, and are academic high-achievers”. A subsequent House of Lords enquiry reported that “students from ethnic minorities; with a disability; who were older; or who had parents from a non-professional background, were less likely to participate in the Erasmus programme”.


  • Peter Watson 13th Oct '16 - 1:37am

    “Over 10,000 people have backed a petition to safeguard the UK’s involvement in the Erasmus programme.”
    I wonder if the wording of the petition might be a little misleading:
    “The ERASMUS programme has helped over 3 million students study and work abroad in Europe. After the leave vote, this student exchange is at risk.”
    Perhaps it should make it clearer that the 3 million students are from across the EU (of which over 200 thousand were from the UK) and that it is UK membership of the scheme which is at risk rather than the scheme itself. Perhaps also it should point out that twice as many students come to the UK from other EU countries as go out from the UK so the benefits are not just to the few UK students who travel. Also, these figures are from 2013 as data does not seem to be readily available since 2014 when this student exchange was folded into a much larger Erasmus+ programme which covers a lot of other areas, so it is unclear what exactly the Lib Dems are campaigning to maintain.

    I know that the EU is interesting for Lib Dems (to put it mildly!) but perhaps this important subject should be opened up more broadly instead of just using Erasmus as another stick with which to hit Brexiters who might have little sympathy for the perceived beneficiaries of the scheme:
    * If social exclusivity is a factor of UK involvement in Erasmus, what can be done to address this?
    * Does the Erasmus Mundus programme offer opportunities post-Brexit?
    * Might an EU-centric focus on Erasmus mean that we are missing out on an opportunity to fund a more global approach which capitalises on the existing international connections of many UK universities and which, by including English-speaking countries, might address some of the social exclusivity?

  • Andrew McCaig 13th Oct '16 - 6:55am

    British universities know the value of international cooperation and have exchange partners all over the world. Students on exchange pay a much reduced fee anyway, but Erasmus provides a grant as well. Erasmus agreements to exchange students are made between individual universities, and I daresay some exchange will continue at a lower level, without the grants and free language courses..

  • Andrew McCaig 13th Oct '16 - 7:02am

    I have managed student exchange in my university department for many years. It is hugely beneficial to students, but since most students at Leeds are middle class, so are most exchange students. Throwing out student exchange on the basis of perceived class bias is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. However the coalition government insisted on the low fee for the year abroad, which helps poorer students, but just like the grants for poorer students it will probably go as soon as the Tories get round to it…

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