Studying in the UK or EU

Erasmus+ in the UK if there’s no Brexit deal. If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, the UK Government will:

  • Underwrite Erasmus+ funding for all successful bids submitted while the UK are still in the EU. This arrangement is dependent on reaching agreement with the EU that UK organisations can continue to be eligible to participate in Erasmus+ projects and;
  • Funding for successful bids will continue for the lifetime of those particular projects
  • You will still be able to bid for new funding until 2020, if we reach an agreement with the EU that UK organisations can participate in Erasmus+ projects post-exit after the UK has left the EU

For further information Erasmus+ in the UK if there’s no Brexit deal


All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People

Purpose of the group is to develop relationships between young people and parliamentarians, in order to secure a better Brexit for young people. Young people will live with the outcome of Brexit the longest and therefore should have a voice in how the negotiations are shaped.


Young people in a changing Europe: British youth and Brexit 2016

In recent years, the relationship between young people and British democracy has become increas-ingly complex and fragile. In particular, Govern-ment austerity policies introduced in 2010 placed a disproportionate burden on young people who have arguably suffered more than any other social grouping from deepening spending cuts in welfare and public services (Birch, Lodge and Gottfried 2013). Perhaps not surprisingly, the perceived failings of the political class to champion the interests of young people has left today’s youth feeling especially ignored and marginalised, and has exposed a widening gap in aspirations between the generations. It has also translated into continued abstention from formal electoral politics (Henn and Oldfield, 2016). In the run-up to the 2016 EU Ref-erendum, a key challenge for the political class was therefore to activate the youth vote in a contest that in time will almost certainly radically re-shape Britain’s relationship with itself and the rest of continental Europe.

Against this back-drop, we worked with young people to co-produce a project called ‘Me and EU’ to place accessible, timely and peer reviewed information in the hands of young people with just one click. The digital platform connected users to research and events organised by contributors to the ESRC-funded “UK in a Changing Europe” project. Critically, ‘Me and EU’ was designed to better help young people in their decision-making on whether and how to vote. This was important for two critical reasons.

Firstly, although they represented a huge potential voting bloc, the UK’s Electoral Commission identified that they were nonetheless massively under-represented on the electoral register in advance of the EU Referen-dum. Our project aimed to encourage young people to register to vote, and included a link that enabled them to do that.

Secondly, young people had a particular take on the EU Referendum and a vision on Britain’s relationship with Europe that were distinct from those of their older contemporaries. For instance, using YouGov polling data collected in the months leading up to the Referendum, Fox (2016) tracked a strong correlation between attitudes to EU membership and age. The polls revealed that when compared with older age groups, young people were less hostile to the EU, more tolerant of immigration, and more likely to feel that the EU had been successful in securing peace across the continent. Importantly, the data from YouGov’s May 2016 poll indicated that the under 25’s were overwhelmingly most likely to support the Remain option, while the over-60s backed leaving the EU. As Table 1 (opposite) demonstrates, this generational gap was ultimately reflected in the final vote, with 73 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds voting to remain in the EU while the country at large voted to leave by a margin of 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent.

In our ‘Me and EU’ research project, we asked respondents what underpinned their support to either remain in, or to leave, the European Union. Figure 1 summarises their responses. The majority of young people pri-oritised broadly “Remain” responses (shaded). The primary issue for this group was a concern that Brexit would have a negative impact on the economy, trade and employment. However, these young people also stressed the positive aspects of continued membership of the EU, including the benefits to be gained by offering collective ap-proaches to such matters as global environmental sustainability, security and human rights. By way of contrast, a significant minority of respond-ents emphasised the benefits to be gained from leaving the EU in terms of strengthening national political sovereignty, re-directing investment from the EU towards the UK, and greater control over immigration. However, a sizeable group of respondents (16 per cent) expressed a lack of certainty about the claims and counter-claims of both the Leave and Remain campaigns. This supports previous research (Henn and Foard 2014) that young people found politics in general to be confusing and difficult to engage with. Typical responses (typed word-for-word by respondents) included:

I don’t know enough about the consequences of voting to stay in or leave Europe. I don’t think anyone truly knows the consequences… I don’t think anyone can trust what the newspapers are reporting on it because they all have their own agenda and are completely biased.

Nobody knows what will happen if we do leave.

I honestly have no clue on the benefits of leaving the EU or staying in.

The decision of the UK population to support the Brexit option at the 2016 EU Referendum will have significant economic, social, political and cultural consequences – and none more so than for the futures of young people. However, the outcome would appear to be at odds with the instincts and preferences of the majority of young people who have indicated their broad support for the European project and who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Conceivably, the growing inequalities between the generations provides a significant challenge of our time. For a youth generation that has borne the brunt of recent austerity politics and which already feels poorly served by the political class, the Referen-dum outcome may serve to deepen the ongoing dissatisfaction that young people feel in relation to democratic processes in the UK.


Vote by age at the 2016 UK Referendum on membership of the European Union(%)
Source:Lord Ashcroft Polls (2016)

18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55- 64 65+
Leave 27 38 48 56 57 60
Remain 73 62 52 44 43 40


Main reasons for wanting the UK to either remain in the European Union
or to leave the European Union(%)
leave_remain_perc – Analytics Audience Overview
Source: Google Analytics



Download “EU Referendum Analysis 2016: Media, Voters and the Campaign” as full pdf (5.8mb)

Message from Slovakia… “Son, the UK are leaving the EU”

Last Friday, I was awoken by a phone call from my mum at 7 AM. She told me that Great Britain voted in the referendum to leave the EU. I could not have believed it has I was more than sure that the British people would have voted to stay in the EU despite all the negative campaign from the Leave camp. I really thought that the reason and the vision of unity, prosperity and security was going to win over the Leave campaign that built its arguments on isolation, nationalism, xenophobia, hatred, racism and no clear economic and political after plan. I was very disappointed to find out that I was wrong.

I still cannot believe that the UK voted to leave. The British public chose to express their disappointment and disgust with the Western economic crisis of 2008, welfare cuts and Westminster politics, which is perceived has elitist and serving the needs of the wealthy metropolitan elites. This feeling has been expressed in the working class voters in Northern England, midlands and Wales. In my view, these communities were misled by politicians such as Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage to blame all their misfortune and governments’ mismanagement on the European Union, immigration and globalization. After Brexit it is clear that the threats and warnings, which had been predicted by political and economic experts was not far wrong.

Thus it looks like that the Leave Camp has no solid plan how to manage this mess. The saddest thing is that all the politicians who were very loud during campaign, e.g. Boris Johnson, David Cameron and George Osborne who are responsible for having this referendum in the first place are hiding and do not provide any solutions and answers. In my opinion, the only impact that this referendum will have on Britain is that its economy will get worse and make it harder for young people to succeed, widening of inequalities and weakens British place in the world.
The decline of British Empire has started after WW2 and I have a strong feeling that it has just got to the last phase. The most ironic point here is that this last phase of self-destruction have been started by politicians who put their personal careers over the nation’s welfare and unity. This divorce will have the most severe impact on the future of young people and it’s unbelievable to me that the British population has decided to destroy the future of their kids and thus also the future of their own country.


They voted leave and we have to deal with it

On Thursday 23rd June 2016, the British public voted to leave the EU. I believe that the outcome of the referendum surprised the entire world.  Nonetheless, the UK has voted to leave the EU and we must now deal with its fallout. But can the 18-24 year olds who voted to remain in the EU just get on and deal with the effects this decision has made to their future plans? Following the news to leave the EU young people expressed their disappointment on social media. My Facebook page was filled with dissatisfied young people who blamed older voters for taking them out of the EU.

With the decision to leave the EU, the future seems uncertain for many young people. For instance, what effects will leaving the EU have on our education? Will UK students still be able to study on the continent under Erasmus? Right this minute the answer is still yes; however, there could be some limitations. In addition, our decision to leave the EU could affect future career prospects of young graduates in the UK. Right now, I could move to Belgium and relocate with ease. I wouldn’t need any work permit or visas to do this – well maybe just a pocket size French or Dutch dictionary. With our decision to leave the EU, this will also change. I feel that this will negatively affect a lot of young people ability to settle in other countries in Europe or hinder their career pathways that are linked with other EU states. For instance, I have a friend who studies chemistry and he always talks about how he plans on moving to Germany straight after his degree in order to pursue his passion for science. Personally, I think it is very sad that we could be missing out on so much educational, cultural and social experiences just because some people do not want “all these immigrants coming in and taking our jobs”.

To conclude, I think the future for young people needs to be considered heavily in the UK’s exist talks from the EU. Most importantly, I really hope that the outcome of the EU referendum will encourage more young people to see the importance of politics in their lives. But the danger is that the referendum will discourage young people’s participation in future political matters. But it shouldn’t, it seriously shouldn’t because any political decision that is made affects young people – in the long term – more than any other social group.

How different age groups voted


Almost three quarters (73%) of 18 to 24-year-olds voted to stay in the EU, compared with 62% of 25 to 34s and 52% of 35 to 44s. Support for Brexit formed a majority among every other age category and grew with each, peaking at 60% among those aged 65 and over.

A comprehensive booklet to help anyone make an informed decision

coverSWOT analyses – structured round an investigation of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – represent a useful way of weighing up the pros and cons of UK relations with the EU and of thinking about how they might develop in the future. We felt that such an approach would allow us to produce a balanced assessessment of the pros and cons of both membership and of both remaining and leaving.

Read the booklet online



Nine days to make-up your mind on our future in the European Union and in the rest of the world

There are only nine days remaining until the UK referendum on EU membership and if you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the issues being debated there is still time to find out more information. For example, what will the impact of leaving the European Union mean not only for the UK economy but culture? And what will ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ actually look like? Whilst older voters do not shy away from giving their viewpoint, it is younger voters who need an informed voice because it is your future that people are gambling. In my opinion, you represent a weighty but somewhat dormant voting bloc. The voices of young voters could redefine the future of the UK in Europe as they did in the case of the Scottish referendum. However, if you decide to stay at home not only is UK democracy weakened, but of equal concern is the future of the European project itself. This vote is not about party politics, it is not about personalities nor nostalgia of Britain’s past, the vote it is about all our futures, particularly the young.

What is absolutely clear to me is that there are ‘no’ certainties or absolutes I can give you to reassure you of the outcome to remain or leave. My intention is not to influence how you vote but simply to encourage you to make an informed decision and go out to vote. The crucial question is whether Britain outside or inside a more unified EU will survive and thrive? Both scenarios carry their own set of risk and challenges argued sometimes eloquently but more often than not forcefully by the remain and leave campaigns. Although the debate to date has been presented as a set of coherent choices, in reality on the 23rd June voters will be casting their ballet based on an emotional decision – supported by the facts and figures they’ve been exposed too. So look at the figures and facts but do not look for any truths in them. You will have to make-up your own mind about the pros and cons of the UK being in or out of the EU.

For instance, the European Union – also known as the ‘European project’ by its insiders – is itself an entity dreamt up following the end of world war two to help unify, and create a more prosperous and secure Europe. Arguably, the EU succeeded in its initial mission. This dream was made real through core agreements such as the Common Market (1973) and Lisbon Treaty (2007), which embody the vision of free movement of people, goods and services across EU states. Today, it is the implementation of these three core principles that challenges our sense of sovereignty and personhood in an increasingly interconnected, interdependent and turbulent world.

Commentators and politicians have tended to reduce these principles down to ‘immigration’ and the ‘economy’ but there are lots of other points to be considered.

  • EU research funding to the UK
  • The EU job market and employment rights
  • Training and education in the EU
  • Rapid migration growth to the UK from the EU
  • Peace and stability in Europe
  • On-going Union of England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland if we vote to leave
  • Eurozone crisis
  • European security and sustainability challenges
  • Travel costs to Europe
  • Renegotiation of trade deals in EU and the rest of the world
  • The knock-on effect to the EU project if Britain was to leave
  • Promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law across Europe
  • Leading Europe
  • Taking back British Sovereignty

Getting an understanding of these topic isn’t too hard but you need to do your own research as it is easy to get caught up with headlines without considering the impact it will have on your dreams and aspirations. Many of the issues mentioned above may not affect you immediately but could affect you later in life. A vote either way will change the nature of UK’s relationship with Europe so it is important to consider the impact both ways before making a decision. A divorced household will never resembled a happy family home.

To help understand the issues we have developed an accessible website on the UK EU referendum, following research which shows some 81 per cent of 12-to-24 year olds feel that they don’t know enough about the EU and how it affects their everyday lives. The easy-to-understand tools break down some of the complexities involved with the referendum, colourfully presenting information on a range of topics, including security; the environment and sustainable energy; income and economic justice; education; travel and transport.

You can also join our debate which takes place on Thursday 16 June in Stratford at the University of East London supported by the Institute of Ideas’ Debating Matters Competition. 

To conclude, it is important to get informed and vote as every ballet counts and will shape the future course of the UK. Do not be a by-stander to history and take control of your own future.


Your Game of Thrones

I moved to London 12 years ago to start my new life here. I wanted to live in the most international, open country in Europe. In the city, the most European in the whole continent, which welcomes diversity and entrepreneurship. I believed I joined on the fore front of 21st century innovation.

I was persuaded of my choice until the EU referendum approached. Then the public debate unravelled forcing me to review judgement. I did not expect to learn much on the subject having worked on European policy since 2007. On the contrary I am learning a lot but on the hidden psychology of Great Britain. I finally encountered those ghosts that inhabit the island but do not dare coming out before the dark-pitched night.

I found myself like Lord Varys in Game of Thrones: a foreigner witnessing his new home heading towards the abyss led by foolish passions and silly mistakes by the leaders. I’d like to do something but I’ve got little room for action. I’m treated just as a passing guest. This is my testimony.

The debate in the media has revealed a country – at least half of it – which is dangerously unease with the roots of its own success: trapped in the past it’s angry with the EU which identifies with the source of all its evil. But the truth is another. The UK cannot come to terms that its past imperial glory is gone for ever. It has to settle together with all the other nations as a peer; a normal country, not a leader.

I’m surprised that British people want to leave the EU after having campaigned for the Single Market and accession of former Communist countries to the EU to create the largest market in the world. British business has benefited immensely creating multinational companies like Vodafone and increasing trade for big and small business. London has become a global financial hub and the first market to trade Euro denominated products shielding the country from the lashes of the world economic crisis. Why destroying the source of your prosperity?

I’m shocked that the British people are afraid of migration when this country has been built by migrants: from the PM Disraeli, son of a migrant Genoese Jewish, to 33% of British scientists who are foreign-born. Even the Royal family is German originally. Millions of British people live on the continent and, every year, young British have the opportunity to study and work in another country of the EU. Who would vote for les opportunities for herself and the future generations?

I’m confused by the decision of government to give the right to vote to people from Commonwealth countries resident in the UK while EU citizens resident in the UK are barred from it. They all pay taxes and contribute to the wealth of the country, but one group has a right denied to the other one. Is this justice? The last time the British crown denied the right to vote to taxpayers it ended up with the American Revolution.

I’m disconcerted when British politicians claim that this country wants to regain its independence and will do better on its own. They throw disputable forecasts based on nostalgia and fantasies, not facts. Actually they ignore evidence. We live in a globalizing society in which we have to face global challenges like climate change and new pandemics. We need each other and further integration more than ever. To those irresponsible politicians I tell “Get over it and behave like a mature nation and not a rebellious, emotional adolescent”.

Fortunately, this is just half of the story; half of the country. Populism is spreading across Western countries. Boris is ultimately the British version of Donald Trump. There have always been mad kings. Fortunately, they do not last. But while they rule we have to cope with situation and contain nefarious effects.

I still believe that on 23rd June the British people will make the right decision, especially the younger generations who have all to win from an open Britain integrated in the rest of Europe. But this won’t solve any problem. The real challenge will start on 24th June as the European Union requires a radical transformation to fulfil its mission of peace and prosperity in 21st century. Only a new generation can lead the process.

Eventually Lord Varys left Kingslanding together with Tyrion and crossed the Narrow Sea to join the Queen of Dragons. He left behind the Houses of Lannister, Baratheon, Martell, and Stark to wage war on each other, bringing misery to the rest of the country. He will come back when the time has come for a new dawn.

by Filippo Addarii
Co-Managing Director,