Universities UK International relaunched its #SupportStudyAbroad campaign on Friday 11 October.
UUKI state that they ask the UK Government for a ‘clear commitment to fund study abroad in 2020 and beyond, either through securing our participation in Erasmus+ or, if necessary, by providing funding for a national replacement mechanism.’ Please see the details below and online, and join them by tweeting, writing to your MPs and encouraging your students to participate.
They need your support to make this campaign a success.
Why are they re-launching?
On 6 February 2019 Universities UK International launched the #SupportStudyAbroad campaign, calling on government to commit to funding study abroad opportunities in case of a no-deal Brexit, even if continued access to the Erasmus+ programme cannot be negotiated. Thanks to your support, the campaign reached 6.38 million people and achieved 16.56 million impressions on Twitter after only 2 weeks. So far it’s had an impact on the Department for Education; Universities Minister, Chris Skidmore MP even tweeted using the hashtag, and in September, Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson MP stated:
‘I want to reassure you that my department is open to continuing to be part of schemes like Erasmus+. But we have to prepare for every eventuality, and it is sensible to consider all options. As such I have asked my officials to provide a truly ambitious scheme if necessary.’
BUT, there is still no cast iron commitment from the government to fund mobility after 2019, and time is running out!
Students are already well underway to deciding their study abroad destinations for 2020 and face uncertainties as to whether their placement year will be able to go ahead or not. So far, the government has said they are ‘open’ to participating in the Erasmus+ programme for future years, and they have guaranteed to replace any grants awarded by the EU for studying abroad in 2019.
What we don’t have yet – and what we urgently need – is a clear commitment to fund study abroad in 2020 and beyond, either through securing our participation in Erasmus+ OR, if necessary, by providing funding for a national replacement mechanism.
UUKI want you to help them to press the government for this commitment!
How can you help?
- Organisations, universities and their students to tweet their support for the campaign via their social media channels.
- Organisations, universities and students to write to their MPs.
- A Call to Action document which outlines some activities that universities and organisations can take in order to support this campaign, along with resources and key messages you can use.
- A student-facing call to action which you can use to get your student networks involved in the campaign. UUKI have also drafted an email which you may wish to use when reaching out to students.
- Template letters to MPs – one for you to use, and one for your students.
UUKi hopes that you will join the campaign and encourage others to do so. It was down to the support of their members and students that the campaign had such an impressive reach they first launched it – please help them keep the pressure up the second time around! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Matthew Guest at firstname.lastname@example.org.