Scotland awarded €21m in highest ever Erasmus+ EU funding allocation

13 October

Scotland has been awarded its highest ever amount of Erasmus+ funding - up nearly €5m since last year according to new figures released by the British Council and Ecorys UK, the National Agency delivering the European Union scheme in the UK.

Nearly €21m has been awarded to Scotland’s educational, training and youth work organisations so far in 2017, compared to €16m in 2016. This represents a rise of 31% and there is still one youth funding deadline to be processed, which means the figure could increase even further. 

The funds will be shared by 159 Scottish organisations in the higher and adult education, schools, youth, and vocational education and training sectors. 

From the overall €21m figure:

  • €11.4m goes to Scotland’s universities 
  • €2.3m goes to Scotland’s schools
  • €4.75m goes to Scottish organisations working in vocational education and training
  • €1.6m goes to Scottish organisations working in adult education
  • €756k goes to Scottish youth work organisations.

Welcoming the news, Director of the British Council in Scotland, Jackie Killeen said, “Enabling people and organisations in communities all over Scotland to learn from and share with their international counterparts is at the very heart of what we do. These new figures for Erasmus+ demonstrate the huge appetite across Scotland’s education and youth training sectors for international exchange, collaboration and partnership. 

“They also show the strength of Scottish engagement with the European Union scheme in receiving this record allocation. As the UK continues to be a full EU member throughout 2018, successful applicants will be awarded funding for the duration of their project, so I would encourage the Scottish sector to maintain its strong and well-deserved record in engaging with Erasmus+.”

Ruth Sinclair-Jones, Erasmus+ UK National Agency Director said, “Scottish organisations have been very successful in bidding for Erasmus+ funding for a range of worthwhile projects, to improve the education and training landscape and the prospects of thousands of young people. The funding available to the UK in 2018 is at its highest to date, at around €170m, and there are a few changes to the programme which should make it easier for organisations to apply.”

Erasmus+ now reaches beyond Europe and in turn helps Scotland to do so. In 2016, the number of Scottish higher education students and staff exchanging with their wider international counterparts doubled to 544. 

This is largely due to institutions such as the University of Glasgow - recipient of the UK’s largest funding allocation for international mobility - receiving more than €1m for exchanges with universities in Brazil, Chile, China, India, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Palestine, South Africa and Thailand. 

The University of Edinburgh has also been one of the biggest senders and receivers of students and staff through Erasmus+, and is featured in an exhibition at the British Council’s UK headquarters in London to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the scheme.

Overall the new figures for 2017 mean that, at the halfway stage of the current Erasmus+ programme, Scotland has benefitted from €60m of funding from the EU scheme, across 700 individual projects, since 2014. 

The number of young people and students from Scotland, as well as staff in education, training and youth work benefiting from Erasmus+ is also up - from 4,975 in 2015, to 6,190 in 2016. 

In addition, the number of students and young people in vocational education and training schemes gaining experience overseas in technical colleges and through company apprenticeships has doubled in that time. 

An information session on how Scottish organisations can take part in Erasmus+ is taking place in in Inverness on 24 October and in Newcastle on 15 November. Individuals interested in attending can register on the Erasmus+ website.


Notes to Editors

The figures are based on UK National Agency statistics published on our dedicated webpage.

30 years of Erasmus+ will be celebrated as part of an EU wide campaign with an exhibition in British Council London and online.  The exhibition runs from 10 October to 26 January 2018. 

For more information, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

1. About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for more than 4 million young people to study, gain work experience or volunteer abroad. Erasmus+ is also designed to modernise education, training, youth work and sport across Europe, through strategic partnerships and through opportunities for staff and professionals to train or exchange experience. The current programme runs from 2014-2020 with a budget of €14.7 billion across Europe. 

The programme is managed in the UK by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, which is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK. 

For further information visit or follow @erasmusplusuk on Twitter

2. About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

3. About Ecorys UK

Ecorys is an international research and consultancy company focused on finding and delivering the right solutions to society’s challenges. At Ecorys UK we’re researchers, policy experts, programme managers and communication specialists with a genuine interest in tackling the issues that affect communities around the world. From research and analysis through to programme management and digital communications, we give our clients the advice and hands-on support they need to achieve their goals. Further information from