The Welsh and Scottish Governments have raised serious concerns about the impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on the popular Europe-wide international student exchange programme Erasmus+.

First published:
13 August 2019
Last updated:

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In a letter sent to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson, Education Minister Kirsty Williams and Scottish Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead argue the case for continued participation in the programme.

The Welsh and Scottish Ministers say leaving the EU without a deal, and without the UK government reaching an alternative Third Country agreement or other arrangement, would see universities, colleges, and schools across the UK ineligible to submit applications to participate in the final year of the current Erasmus+ programme in 2020.

Between 2014 and 2018, Erasmus+ has enabled an estimate of over 10,000 students and staff in Wales to undertake mobility visits to benefit their learning and career development.

Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said:

“Over the last 5 years an estimated 10,000 students and staff in Wales have benefited from participation in the Erasmus+ programme.

“The UK government is responsible for the UK financial contribution for Erasmus+ but with only weeks to go before we leave the EU there are still no plans for a national replacement scheme. If the Prime Minister insists on crashing out of the EU without a deal it could cause severe damage to the prospects of university students, staff and the communities across Wales in which our universities play an integral part.

“We are calling on the Secretary of State for Education to meet with us as a matter of urgency to ensure Wales and Scotland remain full participants in this important programme.”