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Erasmus+ and the EU Referendum

The University of St Andrews is committed to student and staff mobility within Europe and across the world. As an institution, we are outward looking, global and inclusive and will continue to be so.

We have a diverse range of strong partnerships across Europe, both within and outwith the Erasmus+ programme and we closely monitor the progress of discussions on UK involvement in European mobility, hopeful that UK institutions will continue to participate.

We are also working to maintain and strengthen our partnerships in Europe in strategic ways. We have communicated our commitment to collaboration with our partners, including recently writing to all partners to which students have applied to study for 2019-2020. In addition, we visit our partners, host them here, and meet them at conferences and other opportunities. We have developed a strong scholarship portfolio which is open to those participating in mobility in all destinations including in Europe. We are actively contributing to Scottish and UK discussions about involvement in Europe after the UK withdrawal from the EU and attend events focused on these areas.

The European Commission released a press statement on 30 January 2019 clarifying the position for Erasmus+ projects for the current academic year. Noting the importance of the initiative and referring to it as a “flagship programme”, the press release confirms a commitment amongst all EU member states to honour the placements that are currently underway for this academic year. In combination with UK government promises to underwrite successful funding over recent months, this press release provides reassurance that participants in the Erasmus+ programme at the point of UK exit can complete their stay without interruption even in a no-deal scenario.

In the context of current Brexit developments and the possibility of a ‘no deal’ exit, it is not clear that UK institutions will be able to participate in the Erasmus+ programme in 2019-2020. While we hope that UK institutions will be able to continue their involvement until the end of the current project in 2020, this will likely depend on developments over the next few weeks. The UK government has again stated that they are continuing with the aim to secure the UK’s continued full participation in Erasmus+ until 2020. When we know more about the progress of their discussions, we will provide information here.

In the event that mobility funding is not available via the Erasmus+ programme in 2019-2020, we will ensure that you are made aware of other possible sources of Study Abroad funding to which you can apply, including our own outbound scholarships.

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.

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. 

Irrespective of the outcome of current negotiations, we will continue to lobby for involvement in Erasmus+ in 2019-2020 and future versions of the programme and will monitor any additional requirements that may arise regarding visas, funding or other related issues. We will communicate any such outcomes to all participants or future applicants fully and as soon as possible. Information and updates will be posted here when available and are also available from Erasmus+.

If you have any questions or concerns about your Study Abroad placement, please visit the CSA Team during our Consultation Hours from 2-4pm, Monday to Friday, or email us at 

Passport advice for UK nationals in Europe in the event of a no-deal withdrawal from the EU

The UK government advises that UK passport holders (including passports issued by the Crown Dependencies and Gibraltar) will be considered third country nationals in the event of a no-deal scenario. This will mean that you may be subject to further requirements when entering Schengen countries including requirement to have a passport that was issued within the last ten years on the date of arrival in a Schengen country, and which has an effective validity of at least 6 months when you intend to travel to the country.

Schengen countries are: (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland).

We advise that you prepare to be able to fulfil these requirements so that you are able to comply with regulations that may be in force should the UK government not reach a deal.

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

Health and travel insurance

The UK government has advised that the EHIC card will no longer be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Should the UK leave the EU without a deal on 12 April and you expect to be in the EU at that time, you will need to ensure that you have alternative health care cover. The University's travel insurance policy provides cover for students authorised to study or work abroad as part of their degree for medical expenses, repatriation and personal liability insurance alongside other provision. The UK government recommends that you have travel insurance which includes healthcare cover for travel in the EU in the event of a no-deal exit. You may wish to secure additional personal cover for your placement abroad.

Student funding

Student finance arrangements should not be affected by a no-deal exit from the EU. The Department for Education has recently provided detailed information on the student finance arrangements for students abroad on the Erasmus+ and other programmes in the 2018-2019 academic year. Detailed guidance can be found on the UK government website.

Annual funding

Please note: the University of St Andrews is unable to guarantee Erasmus+ funding in any given year. This funding is awarded to the University on an annual basis by the UK National Agency - British Council and is subject to change. Erasmus+ eligibility criteria are set externally by the British Council and the European Commission, and not by the University of St Andrews.  As Erasmus+ grants are externally funded, the University cannot guarantee what funding will be available from year to year.

About Erasmus+

The Erasmus+ programme enables you to study or, in come cases, work in Europe for a semester or full year as part of your degree. Most students are also eligible for an Erasmus+ Mobility grant.

The Erasmus+ scheme is funded by the European Commission as part of the Lifelong Learning programme. It 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. Find out how to be part of the new Erasmus+ programme that continues this approach.

As part of the Erasmus+ programme, eligible students will be issued with an Erasmus+ contract which must be returned to the CSA team. This contract will serve as a guarantee of funding.


Contact the Study Abroad team

Exchanges and Study Abroad

Outbound St Andrews Students
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Phone:  +44 (0)1334 46 2245

Student consultation hours and appointments: 2pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday during term time

Study and Work Abroad Coordinators

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