While Brexit has slowed down confirmation for students who applied to the school year abroad programme for 2019-20, the University’s Brexit Preparedness Group will continue to monitor the situation as events develop.
According to an email by Dr Victoria Turner, lecturer in French and School Year Abroad Coordinator, Brexit is causing “slight disruption” to the school year abroad process for students who applied for 2019-20. Brexit and its impacts to the University will continue to be monitored by the Brexit Preparedness Group, said a University spokesperson in an email to The Saint.
“The University’s Brexit Preparedness Group meets regularly to plan for the future and to manage the continuing uncertainty around the nature of the UK’s exit from the European Union,” the email said.
“Immigration requirements for UK nationals in individual EU countries may be subject to change in the event of a no-deal withdrawal and we are closely monitoring this issue,” the spokesperson said, adding that the Group is also working to “ensure that appropriate advice is offered to students, staff and prospective students, notwithstanding the fact that it is extremely challenging to be definitive in such a fluid political environment.”
It is unclear how Brexit — especially a “no deal” — will affect study abroad funding and partnerships with institutions across Europe, said Dr Turner. Study Abroad are “working very hard” to provide the most current information, “as I am sure you will appreciate,” though, “the situation is constantly changing,” she added. As the School of Modern Languages receives new information, there will be “some disparity” as to when placements are confirmed by different coordinators for study abroad in 2019-20, Dr Turner said.
Reassuring students who plan to study abroad, Dr Turner said, “We very much appreciate the knock-on effects of arranging accommodation, travel etc. that a delay to our offer process can incur, so I wanted to write to reassure you that we are monitoring things very closely and we will provide you with as much information as we can in the coming weeks to help with your year abroad preparations despite this uncertainty.”
Dr Turner can be contacted with any questions regarding study abroad or students can visit Study Abroad consultation hours, 2 pm-4 pm, Monday through Friday.
The University spokesperson said that Brexit makes it uncertain whether the University will be able to participate in the Erasmus+ programme during 2019-20, but expressed that the University “hoped” UK institutions could partake in the programme through 2020, but “this will likely depend on developments over the next few weeks.”
Erasmus+ is a programme that allows students to study, and in some cases, work, for a semester or year across Europe, according to the Erasmus+ University webpage. It is funded by the European Commission, which “…exists to promote student and staff mobility in higher education, principally within the EU, although some non-EU countries also participate.”
“Between 1987 and 2014 over three million students from institutions across Europe took part in the Erasmus programme,” the webpage says.
If funding is not provided through Erasmus+, the University will let students know of alternative methods for study abroad funding, “…including our own outbound scholarships,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added, “We are confident that our good relationships with partners in Europe will allow for continued student mobility irrespective of the outcome of Brexit negotiations and the UK’s participation in Erasmus+, and we are working with partner universities in the EU to facilitate this.”
The University will keep in contact with study abroad offer holders as information becomes available or students can check the Erasmus+ webpage for updates