£200,000 to encourage Scottish students study abroad

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The Scottish Government has made £200,000 available to promote existing opportunities for students to study overseas, as well as creating new opportunities for students wishing to travel abroad as part of their degree.

Education Minister Mike Russell is just back from a week-long trip to India visited universities and schools and met business leaders, Indian companies and academics.

Mr Russel said: “In today’s global economy, an awareness and knowledge of another country’s customs, society and way of life can be a huge advantage.  Getting experience of studying abroad can be hugely beneficial to students, building the skills our society needs.”

Mr Russel added: “More Scottish students studying abroad can only help benefit our university and promote Scotland as a modern, dynamic and creative country.”

The £200,000 will be given to NUS Scotland to support the Scottish Government’s Year of Mobility campaign for higher education – funding a team of staff who will set up closer links with businesses, student groups and international universities.

President of NUS Scotland, Robin Parker, said: “Scotland welcomes double the number of students from outside of the UK than we send to other countries and we hope the Year of Mobility can help to address this.  If we want Scotland to be a small country with a big role to play on the world economic stage, then we need as many students as possible exposed to different cultures, languages and learning.”

2131 students Scottish students did study or work placements in 2010-11 benefitting from the Erasmus scheme which permits students to study in similar university departments with similar programmes across Europe.

Michael Russell said the Government would also be looking creating bursaries for those wishing to travel during part of their degree.

Many more opportunities now exist for students desiring to study abroad, but very often students don’t consider the option or don’t find out the relevant information soon enough – the £200,000 investment should go some way to correcting that.