Brexit: the Erasmus and Horizon programmes Contents
Appendix 3: Call for evidence
The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Jay of Ewelme, has launched an inquiry into the UK’s future participation in the student exchange programme Erasmus and Horizon 2020 funding for university research. The inquiry will focus on the short- and long-term impact of leaving the EU on the UK’s participation in both programmes. The Sub-Committee is limiting its focus on Horizon to the effect of Brexit on funding for university research.
This is a public call for written evidence to be submitted to the Committee. The deadline is Wednesday 21 November. The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this wherever possible. How to submit evidence is set out later in this document, but if you have any questions or require adjustments to enable you to respond, please contact the staff of the Committee. We look forward to hearing from a range of interested individuals and organisations.
Erasmus and Horizon 2020 are among several EU programmes with a focus on education and skills collaboration. The Government is committed to participation in these programmes until the end of their current phases in 2020, but upon exit from the EU, the UK will no longer fulfil eligibility criteria for full membership.
After the UK leaves the EU, it is unclear whether or how the UK will continue to participate in these programmes. The Government has indicated that it will seek continued association with both programmes, but the substance and cost of these arrangements are still unclear.
Under the terms of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement published in March 2018, the UK will continue to participate in Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 in 2019 and 2020 (the transition period) as this was already committed under the EU Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014–2020.
Further, the Government has issued a guarantee to UK organisations that it will underwrite successful funding bids from EU programmes where the bids had been submitted before the UK’s planned departure from the EU on 29 March 2019.3 In the event of no Brexit deal being reached, these organisations would continue to receive funding until the end of their projects. An extension to this guarantee was issued in July 2018, which underwrites funding for successful bids submitted until the end of 2020.
The Committee is interested in how changes to the UK’s association with the Erasmus and Horizon programmes might affect UK students, researchers, and universities. This includes in the event of no deal or, should agreement be reached, after the transition period.
The Committee is seeking evidence on the following questions. Submissions need not address all questions.
- What form of future association with Erasmus should the Government seek and what, in your estimation, is it likely to get? What do you think such an association would cost?
- How many UK students currently participate in the Erasmus programme, and how many would be expected to take part after 2020 if the UK continued to participate in Erasmus?
- To what extent will the Government be able to influence the future direction of Erasmus and how important is this?
- What degree of planning have you undertaken to establish relationships and partnerships with countries or institutions outside of the Erasmus programme in the event that the UK no longer participates in it?
- What action is, or should, the Government be taking to develop relationships and partnerships with countries or institutions outside the Erasmus programme if the UK no longer participates in it?
- During the transition period—if there is one—will new applications for funding by UK organisations and participants be restricted in any way?
Horizon 2020/Horizon Europe
- What form of future association with Horizon Europe should the Government seek for UK universities, and what is it likely to get? Would it be possible for the UK to negotiate a bespoke association with Horizon Europe?
- How much funding would you expect a future association between the UK and Horizon to bring UK universities and researchers?
- To what extent will the Government be able to influence the future direction of Horizon Europe? What level of influence would universities hope that the Government would retain?
- What degree of planning have you undertaken to establish relationships and partnerships with countries or universities outside of the Horizon programme if the UK no longer participates in it?
- What action is, or should, the Government be taking to develop relationships and partnerships with countries or institutions outside the Horizon programme if the UK no longer participates in it?
- If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement on an association with Horizon 2020, the eligibility of some cross-university collaborations may be in doubt. What effect would such a scenario have on the likelihood that potential collaborators choose to work with UK-based researchers?
- During the transition period—if there is one—will new applications for funding by UK universities or UK-based researchers be restricted in any way?
A no deal scenario
- What is the expected cost of the Government’s guarantee to underwrite existing EU funding grants for students and universities in the event of ‘no deal’? How much funding would your organisation require?
- In the event of no deal, how can the Government best ensure that the financing of projects currently funded by Erasmus or Horizon is delivered in a timely and efficient manner, to minimise disruption for participants?
- In the event of no deal, what preparations are being made for a scenario where participating countries or institutions are unable or unwilling to accommodate UK participants after 29 March 2019? What is your assessment of the Government’s plan to “engage with member states and key institutions to seek to ensure UK participants can continue with their planned activity”?