Brexit trade deal and higher education

On 24 December, the UK and the EU reached an agreement on the terms of their future trading relationship before the expiry of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

It is very significant that the trade deal has confirmed that the UK will continue to participate in the EU's Horizon Europe research programme. Universities UK in their press response to the Brexit deal, noted that this will "allow all regions of the UK to grow the scale and impact of international research collaboration, innovation and partnerships."

Unfortunately the Brexit trade deal did not include a continuation of the UK in the Erasmus + student mobility / exchange scheme. The Government has announced however that it is launching a new scheme - the Turing scheme - which will provide opportunities for up to 35,000 UK students to study and work abroad, starting in September 2021. The new scheme will include countries from across the world.

The Government announcement says that the Turing Scheme will also target students from disadvantaged backgrounds, although the details have as yet to be published.

It is unclear what funding will be available for incoming students to the UK from the EU.

UK institutions should note that the Government announcement suggests that bids will be invited for participation in the Turing Scheme "early in 2021". Funding will be available for successful institutions. The Government announcement says that the scheme will be backed by over £100m of funding.

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