SCOTLAND has received around £14 million less under the UK Government’s post- Brexit student exchange programme compared to the EU’s Erasmus+ scheme.

Newly published figures show around £8.3m has been awarded in Scotland this academic year under the Turing Scheme, which was announced as a replacement for the EU programme which Boris Johnson’s government chose to leave. The total given for successful applications under Erasmus+ in 2020 was around £22.6m (€26.4m) north of the Border.

Funding for schools has plummeted, according to the new figures, with £379,710 awarded this year under Turing, compared to around £1.7m (€2m) granted under the Erasmus+ scheme in 2020.

Higher education has been granted around £6.9m under the post-Brexit scheme, while it was around £14m (€16.4m) under the EU programme.

Further education and vocational educational training accounts for £975,914 of Scotland’s funding under the Turing Scheme this year.

However, vocational education and training received around £4m (€4.78m) in 2020 under Erasmus+ , with adult education awarded another £2.2m (€2.67).

The SNP said it showed the Turing Scheme was a “shadow” of the European programme.

The UK’s programme, backed by £110m, was announced as replacing the Erasmus+ scheme in the UK with 35,000 global exchanges from September 2021, The Department of Education claimed it is not possible to make a direct comparison between the two programmes, because for example, Erasmus+ data also includes staff placements, which are not funded under the Turing Scheme.

Around £4.7m was allocated to staff development out of a total of around £171m (€200m) of UK-wide Erasmus+ funding, according to a recent House of Commons briefing paper.

That report noted the scope of the Turing Scheme has been criticised compared to Erasmus.

“In addition to educational exchanges, Erasmus+ covered staff development placements, school improvement programmes, youth opportunities, and sport,” it said.

SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart said the dire consequences of Brexit continued for the people of Scotland, with young people now potentially beingdenied the opportunity to work and study across 27 other EU countries as a result of the funding shortfall.

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“The Turing Scheme is a shadow of the Erasmus scheme and does not come close to affording students the same opportunities to study abroad,” she said.

“Not only has the Turing Scheme slashed support for study abroad, but the scheme itself does not provide anywhere near the tuition fee support that Erasmus did, meaning students will have to take on crippling debt to work and study abroad.

“Scotland’s young people have seen their opportunities narrowed by this Tory UK Government and their Brexit obsession.

“It was in the best interests of students that Boris Johnson insisted on the UK re-joining Erasmus, but instead he has created his own scheme that makes it more difficult for students to take their studies further afield.”

She added: “It’s little wonder why support for independence among young people is so strong when they can see the damage being done to their futures under Westminster control – that is why they must have a choice for a better future of an independent Scotland within the European Union.”

Overall, the Turing Scheme has awarded a total of £98.5m across the UK this year, with Scotland accounting for 8.4% of the total.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The Turing Scheme is providing over £8m to universities, schools and colleges in Scotland this academic year.

“Grants students in Scotland receive under the Turing Scheme mirror those under Erasmus+, as well as further support provided for those from disadvantaged backgrounds – with an additional £110 monthly supplement and extra support for travel and visa costs for those from the poorest backgrounds.

“The programme is demand-led and there was no cap on the amount of funding institutions in each nation could potentially receive.

“We have just announced funding for the next academic year and encourage as many universities, schools and colleges in Scotland as possible to bid for funding.”