EDUCATION CUTS

Party pressure forces Wert to go back on Erasmus decision

Education minister says all exchange students will keep grants for this year as controversial cutback plan is ditched

Madrid -

Education Minister José Ignacio Wert has gone back on his decision to only award Erasmus grants to those students with the lowest economic means.

The minister has announced that all students taking part in the European foreign exchange program would keep their grants – at least for this academic year.

Wert said he had taken the “initiative” to reverse the decision following conversations about the controversial measure with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and the Finance Ministry.

Wert had found himself under pressure from regional governments, universities, opposition parties, as well as leaders from his own governing Popular Party (PP) to repeal the controversial measure, which would have seen students lose funds vital to continuing their studies abroad halfway through the academic year. The minister has become an extremely controversial figure during the PP government's almost two years in office.

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