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Photo: Chris Lawton | UnsplashPhoto: Chris Lawton | Unsplash

Britain is an important partner for Finnish student mobility

Britain is the most interesting country of study for Finns studying for a degree abroad: there are almost 2,000 Finnish degree students studying in its higher education institutions. It is also one of the most important partner countries for student exchanges. Brexit will not have an immediate impact for the students’ position or for cooperation in the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme.

According to the statistics of KELA – the Social Insurance Institution of Finland – Britain is the most popular country for Finns studying for their higher education degree abroad. The most current figures are from the academic year 2014-2015 when there were 1,914 Finnish degree students in British universities. Overall, there were 7,154 Finnish higher education students abroad, meaning that over a quarter of students go to Britain.

Students also go to Britain for shorter visits, for student exchanges, trainee and on-the-job training placements. In 2015, there were 405 vocational students and 622 higher education students on a study or training period abroad: Britain was the 5th most popular country among vocational students and 3rd most popular among higher education students. In total, vocational students had 6,225 study or training periods abroad and higher education students 10,139.

In practice, the majority of study and training periods abroad take place in projects funded through the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme. In higher education, Erasmus+ accounts for 54% and in vocational training for 59% of international mobility. Among incoming students to Finland, the role of the EU programmes is even bigger: 71% of incoming higher education students and 72% of vocational students came to Finland through the EU programmes.

European Commission and British authorities assure that Brexit will not have immediate consequences

The European Commission and British authorities have both given statements about the impact of Britain’s referendum on the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme and the position of EU students. The message is clear: for the moment everything continues as before.

The Commission asserts that the EU laws and directives apply to Britain as long as Britain is a member of the EU.

The British authorities assure that the referendum result will not have immediate impact on British people resident in other European countries or on EU citizens living in Britain. This also applies to students.

According to authorities and the National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme in Britain, the result will not have an impact on ongoing Erasmus+ projects. People can also continue to plan new projects normally for application rounds this year and in 2017.

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