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European Parliament and the Council approve contingency measures to limit the impact of no-deal Brexit on Erasmus+

On 13 March 2019, the European Parliament, in its plenary session in Strasbourg, adopted at first reading the resolution laying down provisions for the continuation of ongoing learning mobility activities under the Erasmus+ programme in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The same text was also adopted by the Council of the EU, in its General Affairs configuration, on 19 March 2019. The Council specified that “these measures are temporary in nature, limited in scope and adopted unilaterally by the EU” and that they are not meant to reproduce the full benefits of EU membership.

The legislative measures aim to safeguard that:

  • ongoing learning mobility activities under the current Erasmus+ programme that started before 30 March 2019 will be fully funded until their conclusion, for up to 12 months;
  • students, trainees and staff from EU-27 and the UK currently involved in mobility activities under the Erasmus+ will not lose their academic credits and will not be required to repeat their academic semester or year.

According to figures, at the end of March 2019, there will be approximately 14 000 Erasmus+ participants from the EU-27 in the UK and around 7 000 UK Erasmus+ participants in the EU-27. The regulation will enter into force only in the event of a no-deal Brexit and it shall be published before the expected date of the withdrawal.

At the same time, no safeguards are yet in place for the approx. 17 000 UK students that should start their Erasmus+ exchange in other EU member states as of this September. In parallel, according to most recent media coverage it seems that some member states are already advising their students that were supposed to study under this scheme in the UK to choose other study destinations. According to statements by Universities UK International (UUKi), while the sector had been waiting for the Department for Education (DfE) to create an alternative UK scheme to the Erasmus+ programme, it seems that no such scheme is under development at present. In the meantime, individual UK institutions are designing their own solutions to safeguard existing partnerships and student exchanges.

Council of the EU - Press release

European Parliament - Press Release

Legislative act