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On the 23rd June 2016, the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. The negotiations are ongoing within the national and regional authorities to work out the detail of this exit from the European Union and to put in place a timeline for the process. The actual bi-lateral negotiations on the departure will take place from March 2017. This was confirmed by the Prime Minister Theresa May in November 2016. Most EU programmes in Northern Ireland have a roll-out period until 2020 and that may give some indication of how long the process will take. Until the status of the UK changes within the context of the EU, the status of international students will not change. St Maryís University College has been coordinating its Erasmus Programme since the early 1990s and it, along with a range of other international programmes, are central to the pathways that are provided to students for the fullest educational experience at the College.

Incoming EU Students

For current and prospective inbound students, immigration status is unchanged and will remain so until the process of exit for the UK is finalised and agreed. For details on the financial aspects of Brexit for inbound students, the Northern Irelandís Department for the Economy has issued a statement: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/information-and-services/student-finance/students-other-eu-countries

Erasmus+ Students

The regional agency managing the Erasmus + programme, the British Council, has released a statement on its status and has instructed all institutions to continue receiving students and working in partnership until further instructions. This will continue until such times as an alternative process is put in place when the UK finally disengages with the EU. Students from our partner universities from across the continent are very welcome to apply and participate in the Erasmus+ programme in 2017. It is expected that this will continue as normal through to 2018 also. We are currently waiting for confirmation of this from the European Commission and British Council. For further detail please refer to the Erasmus+ website: https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/news/eu-referendum-update

Further Information

Queen's University Belfast has posted a comprehensive series of points and links on its website on the relevance and impact of the Brexit vote on students, staff and the institutions. This also includes a range of articles which look at the discourse on the impact of Brexit for Northern Ireland. http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/EUReferendum/