Erasmus+ Programme

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the future of the Erasmus programme for UK students after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received on ensuring that UK students can participate in the Erasmus programme after the UK has left the EU.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions his Department has had with his EU counterparts on the UK seeking association to the next Erasmus programme regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how the Government's funding mechanism for Erasmus+ underwrites will work in practice; and which body or bodies will be responsible for allocating that money to students.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK-based organisations and individuals will be able to bid for funding, as well as participating in and leading consortia, for the duration of the current programmes. I have regular discussions with ministers from other government departments on preparations for leaving the EU, including on this issue.

While securing a negotiated deal remains the government’s top priority, we are committed to ensuring that organisations, students and participating staff are prepared in the event of a no deal EU exit, and have accelerated no deal preparations to ensure we are ready for every eventuality. To provide more clarity, we published a new technical notice at the end of January, which provides detailed guidance to organisations and students on the UK’s anticipated participation in the current Erasmus+ programme (2014 to 2020) in the event of no deal. You can read this here: https://bit.ly/2GaP28y.

As is set out in this notice, the government’s underwrite guarantee will cover the payment of awards to UK organisations for all successful (those that are approved directly by the European Commission or by the National Agency and ratified by the European Commission) Erasmus+ bids. This includes projects and participants that are only informed of their success, or who sign a grant agreement, after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and commits to underwrite funding for the entire lifetime of the projects.

This is reliant on the UK government reaching an agreement with the EU for UK organisations to continue participating in Erasmus+ projects. The delivery of the government guarantee will seek to maintain the same processes as those that are currently in place where funding will be distributed to beneficiaries via the Erasmus+ UK National Agency.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and I meet with representatives of universities regularly to discuss the Department for Education agenda, and that has included the question of participation in the Erasmus+ programme. We have also discussed this in our frequent conversations with member state counterparts in the EU. For example, in recent months these have included discussions with German, Dutch and Polish ministerial counterparts, among others.

With regards to the next Erasmus+ Programme (2021-27), the UK is open to participating in this. We have been considering the draft regulation for the successor scheme carefully and will continue to participate in discussions on them while we remain in the EU. Ultimately, participation in the successor programme is a matter for negotiations to come about our future relationship with the EU.

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