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Brexit could lead to Erasmus difficulties for British students

Report by the olivepress this week highlights the difficulties students may experience using ERASMUS upon a BREXIT

British undergraduates could have problems benefiting from Erasmus, which has enabled 200,000 students of EU member states to study abroad since its creation in 1987.

According to Helen Drake, Europe expert and chair of the UACES (University Association of Contemporary European Studies), ‘British universities could experience an unprecedented fall in overseas student recruitment, with many incoming Erasmus students not turning up and outgoing students having their places withdrawn´.

Universities UK, the ‘definitive voice for universities’ in Britain, revealed there is ‘great uncertainty and an exit would obviously lead to lengthy negotiations’.

The organisation has also commented on the ‘overwhelmingly positive’ impact of the EU on higher education, with 15% of university staff coming from EU nations.

“We’re stronger IN because being in the EU makes it easier for universities to attract some of the world’s most talented people to come to the UK and contribute to cultural and academic life,” said Lucy Shackleton, policy manager for the EU membership campaign.

But Erasmus+, the umbrella body which manages funding and training, refused to speculate, commenting: ‘Our focus is to continuing managing the programme as usual in the UK.’

Tension between the Erasmus system and Switzerland was seen when the country did not join the EU in 1992 and students were barred from the scheme until individual funding projects were set up.

  • Date published: 28th March 2016

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