Members of the House of Lords highlighted the "total uncertainty" ahead for the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programs, while colleagues warned of the implications of a no-deal Brexit, in a debate in the chamber on Monday.
The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee has called on the UK government to clarify its plans for the country's future access to Erasmus, warning that it would be a "formidable challenge" to try to replicate the EU’s programs.
A Lords Select Committee wants a new strategic government unit to safeguard the UK's soft power assets and called for foreign students to be omitted from the net migration count. Other recommendations include the British Council and overseas embassies becoming more engaged in promoting British English and culture.
An eight-hour debate in the House of Lords this week revealed serious concerns over an immigration bill that would introduce a number of measures affecting international students, including an annual NHS levy for migrants and compulsory checks by landlords of tenants' legal status.
The British government has refused to alter its immigration policies to protect the provision of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at UK universities – despite warnings from the House of Lords that its policies threaten the viability of many STEM programmes. However, it did say it was monitoring the impact of its visa policies.