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Changes to Erasmus Programme after Brexit

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Changes to Erasmus Programme after Brexit

In 2017 31,727 EU nationals came to the UK, which makes this update very relevant if you as a student are planning to study in UK. In Denmark, more than 56.000 Danes have since 2014 been a part of the Erasmus+ programme.

The Erasmus Programme is a European Union (EU) programme that helps students study in other countries including Denmark.

Erasmus Programme is a European Union

Last week the MPs voted against a clause that would require UK to Negotiate for Erasmus membership - Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Last week, the MPs voted against a clause that would have required UK to negotiate continuing full membership of the Erasmus programme after Brexit

"For students, young people, those in training and staff who work in the education sector, the Erasmus Programme has been absolutely incredible," Layla Moran says - Liberal Democrat UK

The defeat of the clause does not necessarily mean the UK will not continue with full membership.

A Department for Education official told BBC News: "The government is committed to continuing the academic relationship between the UK and the EU, including through the next Erasmus programme if it is in our interests to do so.

"As we enter negotiations with the EU, we want to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other's world-leading education systems."

Programme funding after Brexit?

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 31 January 2020, once the withdrawal agreement passes through Parliament and is confirmed in the European Parliament.

There will then be a transition period until the end of the year, during which the UK-EU relationship will continue much as it is now - including the Erasmus Programme.

"That means funding for programmes in the current academic year will continue as before"

There is a funding round for Erasmus programmes that close in February and any funding agreed here is being honoured even if the placements take place after the end of the transition period.

So you don't have to worry for now.

The next step?

The Erasmus programme is run in seven-year cycles and the next one will be from 2021.

The European Commission has proposed doubling the funding of Erasmus for the next cycle to €30bn and while the details have not yet been agreed, there have been suggestions it may become easier for non-EU countries to participate, although they would have to pay to do so.

It is already the case that not all the countries that participate in the programme are EU members.

For example, Turkey, Iceland, Norway and Serbia are all that is called "programme members", which means they participate fully and you as a student can study in these countries.

But even if the UK decides it wants to participate in Erasmus after 2021, it may not be able to negotiate that in time for the start of the cycle 2021, so there could be a period when such programmes are not available for students.

"The Erasmus... programme has delivered and continues to deliver significant benefits to the UK and we need to ensure the positives of the programme are not lost as we move into the next stage," Jane Racz, the director of the Erasmus programme in the UK.

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