In a technical notice, the government also explained it will need to reach agreement with the EU in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario for UK organisations to continue participating in Erasmus+ projects after exiting the EU on March 29 2019. It is currently seeking to hold these discussions with the EU.
The UK government has also suggested UK organisations continue to bid for Erasmus+ funding. The guarantee would cover grant payments to all UK organisations that are able to reach an organisation-to-organisation agreement with their EU partners.
“[A no deal] would be hugely damaging for students across Europe”
The UK National Agency, which currently manages the Erasmus+ program in the UK, would step in to provide advice to UK organisations so that they can support their participants. All eligible project costs incurred by the UK institutions would be covered.
Universities UK has previously identified access to the program as one of its top priorities in exit negotiations.
ESU noted that “no deal” would be detrimental to future collaboration and damage cooperation and mobility between the UK and Europe, at its latest board meeting.
“It would be hugely damaging for students across Europe”, ESU added, and it put its support behind NUS UK’s campaign for a “People’s Vote”.
The program is operated in several non-EU countries, such as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey. Students from various partner countries can also be eligible for the program.
Kosovo recently signed an agreement with the EU to increase Kosovo’s participation in Erasmus+.
Earlier in 2018, a European Commission evaluation found that the public saw the Erasmus+ program as one of the most positive results of European integration.
The evaluation emphasised that Erasmus+ in higher education accounts for around 50% of UK undergraduate outward mobility. Institutions and participants drew attention to the impact on standards of academic provision and outcomes, the benefits of an international experience, support for languages and employability and the benefits of networks through which to exchange experience and good practice, it added.
It remains unclear what role, if any, the UK will take following Brexit.