Glasgow University comments on future of Erasmus+ programme

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Credit: Erasmus+

Joanne Krus
Deputy News Editor

Parliament voted against Clause 10 of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on 8 January, which would have made it a requirement for the government to negotiate to remain a full member of the Erasmus+ programme. Now there is uncertainty around the future of the programme.

The University of Glasgow’s vice principal of External Relations has released a statement explaining what parliament’s vote on the Erasmus+ programme means for students.

Parliament voted against Clause 10 of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on 8 January, which would have made it a requirement for the government to negotiate to remain a full member of the Erasmus+ programme.

The Erasmus+ programme is an EU programme for education, training, youth and sport where young people can study, volunteer and gain work experience abroad, according to the Erasmus+ official website.

This has been a controversial vote, raising concerns that studying abroad will become significantly less affordable. Prime minister Boris Johnson has said that the removal of the clause will not prevent the UK from continuing its membership and has insisted that there is “no threat.”

The University of Glasgow receives funding for several Erasmus+ programmes, such as the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility grant, which helps support exchange students and staff and seven social science Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters programmes.

The vice principal of External Relations at the University of Glasgow, Rachel Sandison, released a statement to explain the situation to students. She assured students that the University of Glasgow will be lobbying alongside UUK, which represents UK universities, for the continuation of membership.

Sandison said: “We urge the government to negotiate our continued participation and, failing that, to establish a new national scheme to support our international agenda and provide funded student mobility opportunities. At the University of Glasgow we will continue to partner with European universities and foster bilateral relationships that will help to facilitate sustained student and staff exchange.”

She also said students who have applied for the 2020 call for Erasmus+ applications will not be affected by parliament’s decision as UK organisations can apply for funding before the 2020 application deadlines.

After the vote, a government spokesperson from the Department of Education said: “The government is committed to continuing the academic relationship between the UK and the EU, including through the next Erasmus+ programme if it is in our interests to do so. The vote [last night] does not change that. As we enter negotiations with the EU, we want to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems.”

Students interested in the Erasmus+ programme can learn more about it on the EU’s official website.