Brexit: UK Students Can No Longer Participate in Erasmus Exchange Program

United Kingdom Europe International Studies by Erudera News Dec 28, 2020


Brexit: UK Students Can No Longer Participate in Erasmus Exchange Program

British students will no longer be eligible to participate in the EU’s Erasmus Exchange program as the United Kingdom could not manage to reach an agreement over its post-Brexit membership.

Following the failure to reach an agreement in this regard, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK would instead create its own scheme with “the best universities across the world”.

The scheme will be named after the British computing pioneer Alan Turing, Erudera reports.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that the government decided to not take part in the Erasmus exchange program after the two sides did not manage to agree over the costs of Britain membership.

Erasmus program has provided student exchanges and schools links, work experience as well as apprenticeships across Europe since 1987.

About 200,000 people and 15,000 British university students have participated under the latest version of the scheme.

The vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex, Adam Tickell, expressed sadness that the UK is withdrawing from Erasmus+, and described it as a scheme the original foundations of which were laid to Sussex.

“Over the years, the Erasmus programme transformed the lives of thousands of young people.”

During January, Prime Minister Johnson told MPs that there isn’t any threat to the Erasmus scheme.

However, confirming that no agreement has been reached, Johnson added: “On Erasmus, it was a tough decision”, claiming that the government is establishing a UK scheme for students who will be allowed to travel all around the world.

“It will be called the Turing scheme, named after Alan Turing, so students will have the opportunity not just to go to European universities but to go to the best universities in the world,” he said.

The director of Universities UK International, Vivienne Stern, said that although she regrets that the UK is not part of the scheme anymore, it is not surprising that the European Commission was not ready to budge on cost.

British universities are expected to miss out on a source of income as the new scheme is not likely to offer funds to students coming to the UK, as the Erasmus program does.

According to a report published earlier this year, terminating the Erasmus membership would cost the United Kingdom over £200m yearly.

This month, the European Parliament, together with the Council’s negotiating team, has managed to secure a provisional agreement on the Erasmus+ program for the 2021-2027 period.

The new program will also be different from the current one, meaning the number of participants will triple, increasing it to 12 million people.

In addition, in recent months, the European Parliament and the Council have secured an amount of €16 billion for EU programs such as Erasmus + and the Horizon.

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