With Brexit leaving an air of unpredictability around the United Kingdom’s education system, Prime Minister Theresa May has calmed fears over the popular Erasmus international exchange scheme, confirming that it will continue until at least the end of 2020. The long-running scheme has proven popular with student’s – the system sees students visit and study at a partner institution across Europe – with many options available. This news will come as a relief to many, though cast doubt on the long-term future of the exchange system.
As mentioned, the current Erasmus system offers students the opportunity to study for part of their degree at a different institution – typically somewhere in Europe. Countless Universities are signed up to the system, while they also gain student’s from partner institutions. The system is designed to allow students to experience different education systems and provide a chance to see a new location. Students will typically spend a term at the partner institution, though sometimes the exchange will last a full year.
Yet while this system works well, after the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in 2016, any program that uses travel between European nations is suddenly under question. While Brexit talks continue, something like the Erasmsus program is an unfortunate victim of the decision. It looks likely that in the long-term the exchange system won’t be able to run – although it should be noted that Erasmus isn’t the only system, and it is believed travel to US institutions will remain unaffected.
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So Brexit strikes again! The long-term feasibility of Erasmus after Brexit looks questionable, but at least in the short-term Erasmus will continue. Brexit talks are set to continue, and there is always the chance that Erasmus will be able to prosper for many years to follow, it is a case of waiting to see what happens. But for now, Erasmus is safe, and is going strong! Many students have benefited from the system.