MEPs criticise cuts to EU's Erasmus programme

Proposed cuts to the EU’s Erasmus programme have been met with heavy criticism from MEPs. The programme gives university students the opportunity to study in another European country for a year.

Early Tuesday morning, after marathon talks 27 EU countries reached unanimous agreement on the EU’s long-term budget.

However, the European Parliament has strongly criticised their decision to cut the proposed budget for a number of EU programmes including the Erasmus programme.

Erasmus plus is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The European Council agreed its budget should be several billion euros less than what was being sought by the European Parliament.

Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe says the programme is an invaluable initiative.

"Erasmus is an extraordinary opportunity for second or third year students in higher level to get out of their home country and study in another region.

"I think it is a great experience for not only university students but also those who are in an apprenticeship or learning a trade.

"There has been massive expansion there over the last few years and I hope that will continue.Students learn so much more than what you hear in a lecture hall or a training centre."