‘A huge loss’: Netizens react to possible exclusion of UK students in Erasmus program post-Brexit

Erasmus program
Among the questions asked in the early days post-Brexit was: how will the Erasmus program be affected? Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), the wheels were set in motion for numerous changes, especially in the education sector.

Among the questions asked in the early days post-Brexit was: how will the Erasmus program be affected?

Established in 1987, the Erasmus program is a popular student exchange program that allows students from EU countries to study in other countries within the EU.

Since its inception, more than two million students have benefited from the EU-funded grants to study across 27 countries.

However, speaking to The Guardian, the program’s UK director, Ruth Sinclair-Jones revealed that UK students’ participation in the program was “uncertain” after 2017.

“We face a sad moment of uncertainty, after 30 years of this enrichment of so many lives,” she said, adding that 98 percent of participating students reported having “hugely benefited” from their time in Europe.


While those who are currently in the scheme or applying for next year should not be affected, Sinclair-Jones said that “in the long term, it’s an unknown situation. We will continue with our plans until 2017, but after that we have to wait.”

The British founder of the Erasmus program, Dr. Hywel Ceri Jones, shared his distress over the news: “I feel bereaved by Brexit and if it leads to the end of freedom of movement and exclusion of the UK from Erasmus, this would be devastating.”

Fearing the loss of opportunities through the Erasmus program, a petition has been set up asking for the UK government to “make the Erasmus scheme a vital part of the renegotiations with the EU“.

On Twitter, many had the same reaction … Here are some of the tweets we’ve come across:


Image via Flickr

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