Erasmus exchange programme can be completed in the case of a hard Brexit


THE NETHERLANDS. Students and lecturers – including British ones – who are on an exchange visit with an Erasmus grant, need not worry about their study or work placement in the event of a hard Brexit. They will be allowed to complete it.

Participants of the Erasmus+ programme must not suffer from the effects of a hard Brexit, in which case the British leave the European Union without a deal, the European Commission stated in January. Its proposal was that everyone who had embarked upon an exchange visit with an Erasmus grant before the withdrawal date, should be allowed to complete it without disruption and maintain his or her credits. After the European Parliament had agreed, the European Council followed this week.

At the moment, 14 thousand students and lecturers from the 27 member states participate in an Erasmus+ programme in the United Kingdom and there are 7 thousand British students on an exchange visit in Europe. It was previously feared that with a no deal Brexit, their exchange visit would have to be cut short, but now this concern has been removed.

High tuition fees
For the current British degree students, those who are not here on an exchange visit, nothing will change. But those who come to the Netherlands after a hard Brexit will be regarded as citizens from outside the European Economic Area. In that case they will have to pay the higher institutional tuition fees and will not receive student grants. In the previous academic year, 3,109 British students studied at Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences.

Next week, the British Parliament will vote for the third time on the withdrawal agreement that Prime Minister May reached with the European Union. If it is accepted, Brexit will be a fact on 22 May. If not, Theresa May has until 12 April to come up with an alternative plan. Should that fail too, the United Kingdom will leave the EU without a deal.

HOP, Inge Schouten