Across Europe young people are campaigning to draw attention to the benefits they have received from the Erasmus+ programme. Like many of the twinning and exchange activities that have helped to cement peace in Europe, as well as providing life-changing experiences for young people, Erasmus+ is under threat is the UK votes to leave the EU on 23rd June.
According to the campaign group Students for Europe, ‘ choosing to leave the EU at the June 23 referendum would threaten the academic futures and employment opportunities of an entire generation of students’. To defend these advantages that the EU brings students will be demonstrating across the country.
Charlotte Martin speaks on behalf of Students for Europe and said:
“Coming from a predominantly working-class background, the Erasmus+ programme offered me an opportunity I would never have thought possible. As a British student I started learning a new language, and saw the wealth of job opportunities there are in Europe.
Leaving the EU risks the fantastic freedom of movement – to study, work and travel – that myself and others have today. In Nottingham we’ll be talking to students about why it’s so important to register to vote for the EU referendum.”
The Erasmus+ programme allows more than 10,000 British students to study abroad every year and since it was started more than 200,000 British students have been able to spend time at another European University, learning about other cultures and expanding their horizons. This programme is not just about travel and adventure but is vital in building the relationships that underpin peace in our continent.
Research for Universities UK indicates that the programme also brings economic benefits to individual students. Those who have completed an Erasmus placement have been shown to be 50% less likely to experience long-term unemployment.