Brexit: UK in Erasmus student scheme until at least 2020

University graduatesImage copyright PA

The UK will continue to take part in the Erasmus student exchange programme until at least the end of 2020, the prime minister has said.

Theresa May praised Erasmus+ and confirmed the UK would still be involved after Brexit in March 2019.

Whether it is involved long term is among issues likely to be discussed during the next stage of negotiations.

Erasmus+ sees students study in another European country for between three and 12 months as part of their degree.

The prime minister is in Brussels where she will have dinner with EU leaders on Thursday.

On Friday, without Mrs May, they are expected to formally approve a recommendation that “sufficient progress” has been made in Brexit negotiations so far to move them onto the next stage.

Mrs May agreed a draft deal with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week which would mean the UK would continue its funding of EU projects, including Erasmus, until the end of this EU budget period in 2020.

If EU leaders approve the draft deal, Brexit negotiations can begin on the next phase, covering the future relationship between the UK and EU and a two-year transition or implementation deal from March 2019. It is not clear whether this would include Erasmus+.

Mrs May said that British students benefitted from studying in the EU while UK universities were a popular choice for European students.

Speaking during a discussion on education and culture at the summit in Brussels, she added: “I welcome the opportunity to provide clarity to young people and the education sector and reaffirm our commitment to the deep and special relationship we want to build with the EU.”

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