Britain may be excluded from the Erasmus programme after Brexit

Say goodbye to your year abroad in Italy

The EU-funded Erasmus programme’s funding may be under threat thanks to Brexit, as the scheme’s UK director Ruth Sinclair-Jones told The Guardian that the scheme can’t be guaranteed past 2017. She said: “We face a sad moment of uncertainty, after 30 years of this enrichment of so many lives.”

Scenes like this could soon be a thing of the past

Although students already on Erasmus or applying for it shouldn’t be affected, Sinclair-Jones said: “In the long term, it’s an unknown situation. We will continue with our plans until 2017 but after that we have to wait.”

There were 15,000 British applications to study in Europe last year, with European students studying in Britain paying £600m in fees between 2014-15. The economic impact could therefore be huge. Dr Hywel Ceri Jones, the British founder of Erasmus, said the UK’s exclusion from Erasmus would be: “Devastating – a tragedy of staggering proportions for universities throughout the country.”

French and Spanish student Bethan Turner Harrod is devastated about the prospect of Erasmus ending, saying: “Without Erasmus I wouldn’t have been able to afford to travel and live abroad for so many months, and I wouldn’t have the experiences and life skills I’ve learnt which will help me get a job and contribute to British economy.”