The United Kingdom has left the European Union and with it, the ERASMUS+ programme. The UK had been part of the exchange programme since 1987. In future, new rules will apply to exchanges with one of Germany's most popular partner countries.
What does this mean for German students and staff, and what will be the implications for British students and researchers?
Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee, DAAD President, said the following in an interview with „Forschung und Lehre" magazine: "It's painful that Great Britain will no longer be part of Erasmus+. The programme stands for the intellectual links between Europe's young generation. For German students, Great Britain was the most popular Erasmus destination after Spain. Therefore we support German higher education institutions in their efforts to form new bilateral partner agreements with British partner institutions, and we are pushing for a new exchange programme with Great Britain, which would manage international tuition fees in a new way. (Source: 'Der Brexit ist kein britisches Problem', www.forschung-und-lehre.de, 14/01/2021)
The president of the University of Passau, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bartosch, also judges the UK's exit from the Erasmus programme to be a disappointing political signal. Especially the exchanges in academic fields could and should have acted as effective and well-established bridges, counteracting any cultural distancing.
Professor Dr. Ulrich Bartosch, President of the University of Passau, said: "It may sound paradox, but perhaps it's the Bologna framework, of all things, which now acts to preserve and progress the European higher education sphere. The University of Passau, at any rate, is going to redouble its efforts towards establishing itself as a European University in Bavaria in light of the British decision. Europe is not an a business, and neither is it a stage for forcing through national interests. Europe is the peace project of our time. Academia is an important part of this, so we view it as our special duty as a University located where three rivers meet at the heart of Europe."
UK universites, too, are very keen to preserve their strong relationships with partners in Germany - and to build new ones. To achieve this, the UK has created the Turing programme, which will be managed by the British Council. The Turing programme is there to encourage international mobility among British students, and to create university partnerships that will enable reciprocal student exchanges. The Bavarian state government has indicated that it will work alongside Bavarian universities and higher education institutions on the transitions into new relationships with British counterparts.
We will continue to provide information for students, researchers and staff about topics related to Brexit on this page.