Brexit: Will EU Students Still Be Able to Study in the UK?
“The Erasmus generation will one day become the European leaders that we all look up to for guidance back into a more open and tolerant Europe. For now though, we have a tough road ahead.” – Matthew Clemo, Conference on The Impact of Brexit on Erasmus+
So what’s actually going to happen to exchange programmes like Erasmus+ after Brexit? No one knows. There hasn’t been a single straight answer to address students’ concerns so we’ve decided to shed some light on the latest updates about Brexit and exchange programmes in the UK.
Facts you need to know
- Launched in 1987, Erasmus celebrates 30 years this year and is proud to have involved 4000 European universities offering Erasmus placements
- Erasmus+ has provided study opportunities for over 4 million students in the EU and around the world between 2014-2017
- The programme has benefited students by broadening their education and competences to improve their prospects of a successful career.
- At the moment, there are 27,401 participating Erasmus students in the UK
- UK is going to participate in the programme until 2019, until the Brexit happens
The future of Erasmus+
In the recent year, the government was flooded with questions about Erasmus and its future after Britain leaves. Unfortunately, the answer is still unclear.
“Maintaining Erasmus the way it currently functions with a possibility of growth for the program should be part of the Brexit negotiations to ensure such an important element of Higher Education in the UK is not erased altogether.”– said Mostafa Rajaai, International Officer for the National Union of Students.
Over the last three years, the UK has received over 200,000 exchange students. After Brexit, both UK and EU students are not guaranteed that Erasmus exchange programme will remain the same. In fact, it may be the end of opportunities for students.
However, academics should start thinking and generating alternative schemes and programmes replacing Erasmus+ to ensure that students can still benefit from international student exchange and engagement.
One of the future possibilities is “Erasmus Plus Plus” scheme which would widen the programme to incorporate a global network of schools. This would also mean that the UK are not losing links with Europe and even more – students from countries like the USA, China and India would be given an opportunity to participate, receive funding and study in the UK. Again, let’s not get too excited because it is still in question.
Looking at other non-EU members like Norway and Turkey that are actively participating in Erasmus scheme, there’s still hope that the UK will follow their steps and decide to continue their involvement.
What are the students saying?
Surprisingly enough, many young British people voted to remain, the main reason being the opportunities that Europe has to offer for them. According to Meriel Smith, National Representative of Erasmus Student Network UK:
“The outcome of this referendum is therefore by no means representative of our views, or those of the 48.1% who voted to remain with our European colleagues. We will not let political changes alter our international outlook.”
We were amazed by the results of the Populus Survey, where more than two-thirds of Brits voted for keeping foreign exchange programmes after Britain leaves the EU. What’s more, 74% of young adults demanded that Erasmus should be maintained post Brexit.
Erasmus gives great opportunities for students to learn new languages and experience cultures, which is extremely important for every student and graduate. Removing Erasmus scheme will result in a loss for students to get the international experience, broaden their horizons and gain vital skills.
The study shows that 40% of 18-24 year olds know how to speak a foreign language, however, 49% percent admit that they’re embarrassed by their lack of foreign language skills. A surprising 83% of young adults agree that speaking more than one language is an important skill to have, and it would bring greater employment opportunities for them.
The numbers cannot be ignored
It is clear that students are in favor of keeping the Erasmus programme. One of the main goals of universities is to raise globally-minded graduates and Erasmus has been helping students experience diverse learning environment.
Luckily enough, Erasmus will be open for 2 more years and UK universities will still be welcoming exchange students to come study at their universities. Don’t miss a chance to get the most out of your academic years – choose the uni in the UK and apply for Erasmus grant!
Once that is sorted, we will help you with accommodation – Best Student Halls will ensure you get a cozy place to call home during your study years. Send your enquiry to us, we are always ready to help.