To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he will be able to confirm whether the UK is going to seek association to the next Erasmus+ programme that will run from 2021; and what recent assessment he has made of the benefits to widening participation for outward student mobility of that programme.
The government firmly believes that the UK and European countries should continue to give young people and students the chance to benefit from each other’s world-leading universities following our exit from the European Union.
The next generation of EU programmes is currently being discussed in the EU. This includes the proposed regulation for the 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme, which has reached a partial general approach in the Council of the European Union.
Improving social mobility is a priority for this government and we want everyone to have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background or where they grew up. For this reason, the government welcomes the aim of the Commission’s proposal to make the next programme more accessible to participants, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
We will continue to participate in discussions on the draft regulation while we remain an EU Member State and are considering options for future participation in the next Erasmus+ programme. Of course, the text of the regulation has not been finalised, including important aspects such as the terms of third-country participation, and we will need to consider the regulation as a whole.
Ultimately, any decisions about our participation in the Erasmus+ programme will also be a matter for wider negotiations about our future relationship with the EU.