‘Improve your English or forget Erasmus grant’

'Improve your English or forget Erasmus grant'
The new plans have been approved by controversial Education and Culture minister Jose Ignacio Wert. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP
Spain's Education Minister José Ignacio Wert is to demand higher academic performance and English-language proficiency equivalent to European level B2 from the 10,000 applicants who wish to benefit from government funding for the Erasmus Plus programme.

Montserrat Gomendio, the Secretary of State for Education, Vocational Training and Universities, announced the new measures on Thursday.

As well as passing the stringent academic and English-language tests, students who want Spanish funding in order to take part in the European university exchange scheme will need to have a minimum of 60 credits but will in return qualify for €100 ($136) more than the 30,000 Spanish students who are funded by the EU.

The government department led by controversial minister José Ignacio Wert finances the Erasmus programme in Spain to the tune of €18 million each year, which pays for 10,000 exchange placements. The EU funds the remaining 30,000 placements with a budget of €53.4 million.

Wert recently had to back-track on plans to restrict Erasmus grants to students already studying abroad.

He was also reprimanded by EU officials who described his claims that next year's budgets would be halved by 50% as "rubbish" and "totally false".

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