The image on the left of the photo of Baroness Diana Barran came from facebook back 3 days ago on the 13th March and it provides a very clear comparison between the provision of Erasmus and the proposed provision of Turing which is the UK offer to students that as we will see in a few words is supposed to be comparable. I will be honest I have not benefited personally nor have my family from Erasmus so I am not able to confirm the benefits of this. However if our nation is to do a meaningful approach to replace the provision that we had from our 40 years in the EU, Erasmus is one element to refer to. After all we were offered the opportunity to adopt Erasmus by the EU but chose not to during the negotiation and all of the Tory MPs seemed to be willing to accept this. As was expressed back last Wednesday in the Prime Ministers Questions in response to a question from the SNP Deputy Leader Kirsten Oswald who is the MP for East Renfrewshire
Yesterday, the Prime Minister published his plans for an Erasmus replacement, without any consultation or discussion with the devolved Governments. The replacement scheme offers lower living support, no travel support and no tuition fee support. Why are this Tory Government taking opportunities away from our young people?
And the response came from Johnson
That was a delightfully concise question, but the hon. Member is wrong about the difference between Erasmus and the Turing project. Unlike the Erasmus scheme, which overwhelmingly went to kids from better-off homes, the Turing project is designed to help kids across the country, of all income groups, get to fantastic universities around the world.
So the following day Steve who I have met a couple of times and is Lord of Brighton as well as the Shadow Spokesperson for Further and Higher Education and Shadow Spokesperson for DCMS asked this question in the House of Lords
My Lords, before this year, music and performing arts students participated in study or cultural exchanges under Erasmus. This allowed them to develop the skills and build the networks that bring success in the creative industries sector. Published details of the Government’s Turing replacement scheme suggest no tuition fee support and significantly lower cost of living grants. Does the Minister believe that this meets the test of rewarding raw talent rather than financial background, and will she agree to talk to her DfE counterparts and discuss the double whammy these proposals represent as a barrier to UK cultural engagement in Europe?
The response came from Baroness Barran who is the Parliamentary Under Secretary for the DCMS responded with
I am more than happy to talk to my DfE counterparts. I do not think we accept the suggestion that the noble Lord makes. The Turing scheme is going to be open to about 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to allow them to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting this September. He is right that we will also seek to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am sure he agrees with me that that is also an important priority.
It appears that she is either admitting the gaps but doing it in a rather dishonest way like her boss Boris Johnson or else she is not aware of the gaps. We will never get honesty from Johnson but perhaps we can persuade people to inform Diana as her identity is a bit closer to what most of us would support if the words in her Wikipedia description are correct. Clearly the comparison on Facebook came a couple of days after the discussions in the Houses of Parliament and it may well be that there are other ways of informing people like Diana Barran. However it would be very encouraging if she was willing to return to Parliament to admit the failures of Turing by comparison to the Erasmus provision. Anyway back to the history of Diana Barran.
Diana Francesca Caroline Clare Barran, Baroness Barran, MBE (born 10 February 1959) is a British charity campaigner, former hedge fund manager and Conservative Party life peer. She is the founder of the domestic abuse awareness charity SafeLives and served as its chief executive from 2004 to 2017.
Barran worked as an investment banker in London and Paris for Morgan Grenfell and Enskilda Asset Management and founded the hedge fund Barran and Partners in 1993. Barren left Beaumont Capital in 2001 shortly before its sale to Schroders. Barran owned 10% of Beaumont Capital at the time of her departure.
Barran is a former trustee of Comic Relief and a former chair of the Henry Smith Society. Barran has worked as the head of grant development for New Philanthropy Capital and as the firms donor adviser.
She was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DCMS by Boris Johnson in the Johnson ministry. She is responsible for the department’s business in the Lords and First World War commemorations.