Launched in response to a technical note on the future of the UK’s membership of the Erasmus+ program in the case of a no-deal Brexit, the campaign hopes to confirm government support for the program, which was previously understood to be promised in the case of a ‘no deal’.
“Without schemes like Erasmus, the UK will not be equipped for the economy post-Brexit”
Those who have impactful study abroad experiences are being encouraged to tweet to Damian Hinds, secretary of state for education, to urge him to ensure study abroad opportunities.
The campaign has already gained some momentum on Twitter.
The government has said it would like to stay in the Erasmus+ program, however, if it cannot negotiate continued Erasmus+ membership, there will be no national alternative to enable students to go abroad in the case of a no-deal Brexit, a UUK briefing explained.
Without continued funding, UUK pointed out, 17,000 UK students will miss out on opportunities to study abroad next year.
Speaking about the launch, UUK CEO Alistair Jarvis said investment in international experience for UK students is “an investment in the future of our economy”.
“Without the international opportunities offered through schemes like Erasmus, the UK’s workforce will not be equipped to meet the changing needs of the economy post-Brexit,” he said.
Jarvis added that study abroad not only has clear employability benefits for students, it also helps them to develop the language, communication and intercultural skills that will be so essential to building a truly global Britain.
“In the case of a no-deal Brexit, I strongly urge the government to commit to continuing funding study abroad opportunities for UK students, even if the UK cannot negotiate continued participation in Erasmus+ program”.
The campaign has been shared by institutions across the UK education sector on social media, with many calling directly on the education secretary Damian Hinds and the universities minister Chris Skidmore to create a UK-backed equivalent scheme.