Local Fife MP Stephen Gethins has begun 2017 by continuing to denounce the government’s failure to address uncertainty surrounding the Erasmus EU study abroad programme.

Erasmus was officially implemented throughout the European Union 30 years ago. Mr Gethins marked the occasion by giving a speech to Parliament that called for Theresa May and government officials to offer peace of mind to the thousands of students who currently benefit from Britain’s Erasmus partnership.

Photo: Lorelei Pfeiffer

“Our membership of the EU and its benefits extends beyond global trade deals, access to key markets and immigration — it plays a pivotal role in allowing students to develop their skills and build networks with our European partners as well as studying in leading educational institutes,” Mr Gethins said.

The University of St Andrews currently hosts a large international population; more than 30 per cent of the student body comes from outside the UK. The benefits of Erasmus for both the town and University were highlighted by Mr Gethins, who said, “I am very concerned that students at Scotland’s most ancient seat of learning, the University of St Andrews, […] may be denied the educational opportunities and cultural benefits that taking part in Erasmus brings.”

Students from St Andrews and other institutions across the UK may take advantage of the programme, which currently has more than 900 partner universities in 37 countries.

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