Academics and lecturers have backed proposals to look at ways in which Scotland can continue its association with the EU's Erasmus+ education programme.

A motion calling for a working group to examine options received overwhelming support during the University and College Union's recent Congress.

It comes amid fears that the Turing Scheme - Britain's post-Brexit replacement - does not offer the same benefits, particularly in the area of reciprocity and helping students from other countries to come here.

READ MORE: Push for Scotland to re-join EU scheme

Earlier this year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appeared to dash hopes that Scotland could re-join Erasmus+ independently given its status as a "constituent nation" of the UK. 

But Mary Senior, the UCU's Scotland Official, said that moves were underway to look at how a relationship could be preserved.

This may involve taking advantage of possibilities within the EU scheme for outward mobility to countries that are not official partners and using Turing money to maintain reciprocity.

The motion calling for the continuation of efforts to maintain Scotland's association was passed after receiving 31 votes with only one against. There were two abstentions.

The Herald: Mary Senior is the UCU's Scotland Official.Mary Senior is the UCU's Scotland Official.

The UCU's membership includes academics, lecturers, researchers, librarians and postgraduate teaching assistants.

Wales recently announced it would set up its own version of the Erasmus scheme to "fill the gaps" left by Turing.

READ MORE: Scotland urged to follow Welsh example

Westminster's Department for Education said previously that its programme was "backed by £110 million, and will provide funding for 35,000 global exchanges, a similar number to that offered under Erasmus+".

“We know that under Erasmus+ the most privileged students were 1.7x more likely to participate in study abroad, and our Turing Scheme aims to change this, ensuring that as many students as possible have access to life-changing opportunities to study and work abroad," it said.

"Disadvantaged students are also currently set to benefit from more funding per month than under Erasmus+.”