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Although the UK and EU finally agreed on a Brexit deal, the MEP could not resist a final taunt aimed towards Britain. Boris Johnson announced the UK will not continue its participation in the European Erasmus programme. Instead, the UK will launch its own £100million Turing scheme aimed at providing support for thousands of students from September 2021.
Despite the bumper new scheme launched by the UK Government, the Irish government has announced it will support Northern Irish students wanting to participate in the Erasmus+ scheme.
Mr Verhofstadt said in response to the news: “Praise for the Irish Government for keeping the Erasmus programme alive for young people in Northern Ireland.”
However, many were quick to defend the new Turing scheme despite Mr Vehrofstadt’s claim.
One person said: “The Turing Scheme is superior in every way, funding far more British places, with more and vastly better universities and helping poorer young people.”
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Another said: “No EU university is in the top 20 worldwide.”
A third said: “How much is that going to cost the Irish at the expense of their young people?”
A fourth said: “The Turing scheme means the world is their oyster, not just Europe.
“Besides European universities are crap.”
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The Turing programme will look to help 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements abroad.
It will also target students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not benefit from the Erasmus+ scheme.
Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said: “We now have the chance to expand opportunities to study abroad and see more students from all backgrounds benefit from the experience.
“We have designed a truly international scheme which is focused on our priorities, delivers real value for money and forms an important part of our promise to level up the United Kingdom.
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“These opportunities will benefit both our students and our employers, as well as strengthening our ties with partners across the world.”
Under an arrangement with the Irish government, Northern Irish universities will remain part of the Erasmus scheme.
The scheme will cost the government £1.9million a year in order to help students journey to European countries.
Approximately 649 students and staff from Northern Ireland participated in the scheme last year.
If funding has been secured this year, some UK universities will be able to participate in the Erasmus programme in 2021.
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