Study Abroad and Exchanges

Brexit and Erasmus+ Updates

Erasmus+ 2018/19

Update for students on exchange in semester 2 of Academic Year 2018/19

Newcastle University values and is committed to student mobility to Europe and to continued co-operation with European partners and with partners from across the world. Although Brexit has created some uncertainty regarding its implications for Erasmus+ student mobility, students should continue preparations for their mobility period if they have been planning to be abroad in semester 2 of Academic Year 2018/19 or on a summer placement in 2019.

An agreement has been reached to postpone Brexit and extend Article 50 until 31 October 2019.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by both parties before 31 October 2019 the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union will take place on the first day of the following month.

In both scenarios, a transition period would follow, which is currently intended to last until 31 December 2020. There would be no changes for students doing an Erasmus+ exchange in semester 2 2018/19.

There remains a risk of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019; students on exchange in semester 2 of the 2018/19 Academic Year or on a summer placement in 2019 would not be impacted, as all placements are expected to have finished by this date.

Students intending to travel to the EU after 31 October 2019 should refer to the advice issued by the government about travelling to Europe after Brexit. 

If you require further guidance, please contact erasmus@ncl.ac.uk.

Erasmus+ 2019/20

Update for students on exchange in Academic Year 2019/20

Newcastle University values and is committed to student mobility to Europe and to continued co-operation with European partners and with partners from across the world. Although Brexit has created some uncertainty regarding its implications for Erasmus+ student mobility, we would advise students to continue planning their mobility period if they are intending to go abroad in Academic Year 2019/20.

There are currently two possible scenarios for the participation of the UK in Erasmus+ until 2020, depending on Brexit negotiations and outcomes:

1. The UK and the EU reach a deal, which would enable the UK to stay in Erasmus+ until the end of the current programme in 2020.

This would mean that there are no changes to Erasmus+ in Academic Year 2019/20 and student mobility can go ahead without disruption.

2. The UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019 without a deal.

In this case, the European Commission Contingency Regulation will come into effect on 31 October 2019 guaranteeing that participants on mobilities will be able to complete their mobilities in full and uninterrupted.

 This Regulation does not cover mobility activities starting from the date of withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

Erasmus+ grants

The European Commission Contingency Regulation will cover Erasmus grants for mobility activities that have started before 1 November 2019. In case of a no-deal Brexit, the UK government has underwritten Erasmus+ funding for mobilities that will start after a potential no-deal Brexit date. 

Newcastle University has issued an additional guarantee for students planning to go abroad on an Erasmus+ placement and is underwriting the funding for 2019/20 in case any issues arise.

Erasmus+ partnerships with European institutions

It is unclear if Erasmus+ inter-institutional agreements with European partner universities, which need to be in place to undertake a period of study abroad, would still be valid in a no-deal scenario. Newcastle University has contacted partner institutions to sign additional agreements which would be valid in case of a no-deal. However, we are not able to guarantee that all our existing Erasmus+ partners will continue to work with us which may lead a reduced list of potential destinations. We will make every possible effort to secure sufficient study abroad places at partner institutions for degree programmes that have an element of mandatory mobility.

Immigration requirements

Other areas of uncertainty remain, e.g. on immigration requirements of UK students abroad after Brexit if there is no deal. The government issued the following advice for UK nationals travelling to the EU after 31 October if there is no deal:

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling after 31 October 2019 and there’s no deal.

 On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You can use a tool to check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting.

It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.

These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

Please see the UK government advice in full for further information on the preparations you should take.

The Student Mobility Team will provide further updates as the situation develops and when new information becomes available, e.g. on potential visa requirements and other related issues in a no-deal scenario; if you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with your School Exchange Coordinator or erasmus@ncl.ac.uk.

Erasmus+ 2020/21

Update for students on exchange in Academic Year 2020/21

Newcastle University values and is committed to student mobility to Europe and to continued co-operation with European partners and with partners from across the world. However, Brexit has created some uncertainty regarding its implications for Erasmus+ student mobility.

There are currently two possible scenarios for the participation of the UK in Erasmus+ until 2020, depending on Brexit negotiations and outcomes:

1. The UK and the EU reach a deal, which would enable the UK to stay in Erasmus+ until the end of the current programme in 2020.

This would mean that there are no changes to Erasmus+ in Academic Year 2020/21 and student mobility can go ahead without disruption.

2. The UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019 without a deal.

Leaving the EU without a deal in October 2019 may have an impact on students planning to go abroad in Academic Year 2020/21. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government as well as the University are considering the potential impact and are taking actions to mitigate the risks.

Erasmus+ grants

A new technical notice on Erasmus+ in the event of a no-deal has been published by the government on 29 January 2019.

The UK government will provide funding to cover Erasmus + grants awarded after the date of Brexit if the European Commission agrees to enable the UK to remain in the programme and be eligible for funding. Although not explicit, the implication is that there would be no UK government funding to replace Erasmus+ in a no deal scenario if the UK government is unsuccessful in negotiating access to the Erasmus programme.

Newcastle University is therefore underwriting Erasmus + grants for students going abroad in 2020/2021.

Erasmus+ partnerships with European institutions

It is unclear if Erasmus+ inter-institutional agreements with European partner universities, which need to be in place to undertake a period of study abroad, would still be valid in a no-deal scenario. Newcastle University has contacted partner institutions to sign additional agreements which would be valid in case of a no-deal. However, we are not able to guarantee that all our existing Erasmus+ partners will continue to work with us which may lead a reduced list of potential destinations. We will make every possible effort to secure sufficient study abroad places at partner institutions for degree programmes that have an element of mandatory mobility.

Immigration requirements

Other areas of uncertainty remain, e.g. on immigration requirements of UK students abroad after Brexit if there is no deal. The government issued the following advice for UK nationals travelling to the EU after 31 October if there is no deal:

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling after 31 October 2019 and there’s no deal.

 On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You can use a tool to check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting.

It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.

These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

Please see the UK government advice in full for further information on the preparations you should take.

The Student Mobility Team will provide further updates as the situation develops and when new information becomes available, e.g. on potential visa requirements and other related issues in a no-deal scenario; if you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with your School Exchange Coordinator or erasmus@ncl.ac.uk.

Erasmus+ 2021/22

Update for students planning to go on exchange from Academic Year 2021/22

Erasmus+ Successor Programme

The current Erasmus+ Programme ends on 31 December 2020 (covering the full academic year 2020/21 for exchanges), and it will be succeeded by a new iteration of the programme. This new programme features a pathway for participation for third countries, which leaves the door open for the UK to continue its participation in Erasmus+ beyond Brexit. The UK government has indicated that it would like to explore this option of associating to the Erasmus+ successor programme with the EU, but there is currently no guarantee that the UK will continue to be part of the programme.

There are two possible scenarios:

1. The government secures UK participation in the Erasmus+ successor programme

In this scenario Erasmus+ exchanges would work in a very similar way as they do now, with a few changes that would be implemented as part of the new programme and which are not confirmed at this point. It is expected that more funding will be available and that the new programme will be more flexible.

2. The government does not secure UK participation in the Erasmus+ successor programme

Newcastle University is committed to continue working with European partners. It is possible to set-up exchange partnerships with European partners outside of the Erasmus+ Programme, just in the same way as universities already do with institutions outside of the EU. However, there would not be any guaranteed funding at this point, but recommendations have been made to the government to set-up a national mobility scheme that includes funding opportunities if the UK is not going to secure participation in the Erasmus+ successor programme.