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UK students could be excluded from Erasmus because of Brexit


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Every year 15,000 UK students benefit from taking part in the EU funded Erasmus scheme. However, students in the UK now face uncertainty over whether they will still be allowed to participate following the vote for Brexit.

Erasmus’ UK director, Ruth Sinclair-Jones, says the scheme can’t be guaranteed after 2017. Speaking to The Guardian she admitted: “We face a sad moment of uncertainty, after 30 years of this enrichment of so many lives.”

Anxious students worried about their future involvement in the scheme have been inundating the Erasmus organisation trying to gain clarification. A statement on the official Erasmus website reads:

"We are getting many questions about the future of the Erasmus Programme. It is not clear at this early stage what the impact of the recent UK vote to leave the EU will have on the Erasmus Programme."

EU negotiations for Britain’s exit are unlikely to begin until Article 50 has been triggered, which means we won’t know what kind of relations the UK will have with the EU. On top of this it’s still unclear the kind of Brexit deals the government intends to try and make. This has a direct impact on the Erasmus scheme as it seems unlikely the UK would be allowed to participate in the scheme if we vote to restrict the free movement of people.

Switzerland, which isn't an EU member, has been banned from the Erasmus scheme because they voted to restrict free movement. As immigration was cited as a major factor in people's decision to vote Leave, uncertainty surrounds whether the UK will also choose to restrict free movement, and this is something that will have an effect on so many things, including Erasmus.

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