The Irish University Association (IUA) has joined forces with 36 EU and UK higher education and research organisations in a joint-declaration of cooperation post Brexit. The 37 organisations have signed a statement calling on European governments to continue their commitment to the Erasmus and Horizon Europe programmes post Brexit.

The UK’s participation in the Erasmus + and Horizon Europe programmes will be negotiated by the EU and the British government during the Brexit transition period. Negotiations on this issue must be completed by 1 January 2021, after which the UK will be excluded from said programmes if negotiations are unsuccessful. In the meantime, the UK will remain full members of both programmes.

The main aim of the signatories is for continued cooperation on research and student exchange programmes; the associations involved believe that Brexit should not halt the shared learning and research experience that currently exists between British universities and their European counterparts. 

Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “There are currently in excess of 500 active partnerships between Irish universities and those in the UK. It is critically important that these relationships are maintained into the future. Irish universities need to maintain the strongest possible links with their counterparts on the neighboring island, which is vital to the advancement of Irish research and innovation and to continuing an active exchange of third level students.”

The signatories of this declaration stem from all corners of the continent showing a united approach to an issue derived from division. The British Irish Chamber of Commerce, European University Association and The German Rector’s Conference join the Irish University Association in signing this critical declaration. However, the results of these efforts will not be known until official negotiations on this issue come to a close.


Adam O’Sullivan – Reporter