Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Brexit: where does U!REKA stand?

24 Jun 2019 15:16 | Communication

With Brexit looming, what is U!REKA doing to safeguard its partnerships with UK-based institutions, such as Edinburgh Napier? How are the consortium partners supporting students and staff in the midst of uncertainties around Brexit?

Brexit background

In 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union in the so-called 'Brexit' referendum. This means that citizens who hold British passports will lose their EU membership status. As it now stands, Britain will leave the EU on ‘Brexit day’, which could be 31 October 2019, or sooner.

It is also unclear whether a Deal with the rest of the EU regarding future relations will be finalised before the deadline. A No Deal situation is the default outcome if negotiations and political processes continue beyond the deadline. However, for UK students and staff studying and working abroad, the impact could be highly disruptive. Various international projects and activities between UK institutions and other European partners may also be affected.

U!REKA’s position

The U!REKA Steering Committee, which includes Frank Dievernich (Frankfurt), Koen Goethals (Ghent), Huib de Jong (Amsterdam), Riitta Konkola (Helsinki), Curt Rice (Oslo) and Alistair Sambell (Edinburgh), has issued the following declaration on Brexit:

U!REKA acknowledges the agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the UK’s desire to have a full participation in the ninth EU framework programme on research and innovation (Horizon Europe). U!REKA believes that co-operation between universities, industry and other agencies and student and staff exchange is a core condition in promoting equity and justice in Europe and a key variable in dealing with the complex cultural, social and technological challenges in the urban areas in Europe. In that context it is essential that UK partners continue to be involved in science, innovation and (student and staff) exchange networks in Europe. U!REKA therefore calls upon all countries involved to find a way that will allow researchers from the UK to continue to participate in all elements and instruments of the European Research Area.

As a consortium, we strongly emphasise the crucial importance of our relationship with our UK partners.  U!REKA’s Steering Committee therefore recently shared this declaration with the European Commission, calling for secured continued access for all UK higher education institutions - particular Edinburgh Napier University – so they can continue their participation in all EU education, research and innovation networks.

Local initiatives

Are you wondering if there are implications for you as a staff member or student at a U!REKA partner institution? There are various information hubs and resources to support you and answer your questions, depending on the country where you are based. 

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences has set up a decicated ‘Brexit Hub‘ where students and staff members can access relevant information about Brexit.

Are you wondering if there are consequences for you as an AUAS student or stafff member in relation to Brexit? Browse the Brexit Hub for information about various topics related to Brexit and its impact on the AUAS, and you.

Information for students 
Information for staff

Edinburg Napier has various resources available for its various stakeholders. Information can be accessed via the links below, tailored to the following groups:

New applicants from the EU
Current students
Exchange students
All stakeholders

It’s also interesting to note that the Scottish Government has confirmed that EU citizens who study in Scotland in the 2020/2021 academic year will be charged the same tuition fees as Scottish students for the entirety of their courses. This means that the vast majority of EU students will be guaranteed free tuition, regardless of the outcome of Brexit.

The Scottish Government launched a heartfelt campaign on 29 March (the original date that the UK had planned to leave the EU) to declare its enduring love for Europe. It stresses that Scotland remains committed to being a country where Europeans can live, work, study, visit and do business.

The International Office at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is the main point of contact for students, professors and staff seeking information about how Brexit will impact its mobility programmes. Stakeholders can also access relevant information on the affected programmes on the Frankfurt UAS website. In principle, Frankfurt UAS strives to uphold all existing contracts following Brexit. Negotiations are currently ongoing with various UK-based partners.

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland is striving to sustain and develop its partnership relations with its current UK partners.  

It is also informing its students and staff affected by Brexit of the current developments and their impact on international mobility, partnerships, degree studies, and research-related co-operation (RDI). Information for degree students is available on Metropolia’s website.