The European council of the European Union is aiming to cut 60 million from Education in its 2012 budget. The news comes in the shadow of announcements by the EU that it is placing education at the centre of its economic and development ‘strategy EU2020’.

The cuts will affect current education schemes including the Life Long learning (LLP) programme and the Erasmus scheme. In opposition to these proposals the Education and culture committee of the European parliament has proposed an increase to the budget with 45 million for the LLP. From a student perspective the budget may have implications for funding opportunities.

In the academic year 2009-2010 Erasmus facilitated 213,266 exchanges across the union. European Students’ Union (ESU) chairperson Bert Vandenkendelaere described the cuts as “a setback to all European students”. The ESU, of which UCD is a member through its affiliation with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), has called on the European parliament not only to reverse the cuts but to increase funding and restore education as the “cornerstone of the European welfare society”.

Frances Ivens