Please find below a letter from Richard Lochhead, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science addressed to the adult learning sector, relating to the withdrawal of adult education from the Erasmus+ replacement scheme,
22 January 2021
Dear Adult Learning Partners,
Withdrawal of Adult Education from Erasmus Replacement Scheme
As some of you may be aware, the Department for Education (DfE) has decided not to cover Adult Education under its Erasmus replacement programme, the Turing Scheme.
Under Erasmus, Adult Education offered staff exchanges, mobilities and strategic partnerships between nations. However, I am disappointed to earn that the DfE appears not to consider this to be good value for money – something I strongly disagree with.
The Scottish Government has always been clear that continued participation in Erasmus was in the best interest of Scotland: a position shared by our adult learning stakeholders, such as Scotland’s Learning Partnership and Learning Link Scotland, and indeed the public, going by
social media in particular. That the UK Government unilaterally decided that participation in a programme which has transformed lives, particularly from our most deprived areas, is ‘too expensive’ was already deeply disappointing and unsatisfactory. To now find that they intend, without consultation, to abandon a key area of support for Scotland’s Adult Education Sector further compounds our concern.
I have conveyed my deep disappointment to the UK Government regarding their decision not to offer any support for our adult education sector. Their response – that they do not consider it ‘value for money’ is callous and, in view of our own analysis, incorrect.
It is my sincere hope that an appropriate outcome can be reached with the UK Government on this matter. In the meantime, the Scottish Government is exploring what alternative options might exist that would allow Scotland to remain close to this critical programme.
I hope to have more favourable news to share with you on this matter in the future and will write to you again in due course.
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