We are deeply concerned to read from reports on the UK-EU negotiations that the UK will no longer participate in the Erasmus+ programme for educational exchange.
This is a harsh blow to students and young people who, like everyone else, are already losing their free movement and their ability to freely travel, live, work and study across 27 states.
University students have already been treated appallingly by this government and face rising fees, rising living costs and now a major loss in opportunities via the Erasmus+ scheme.
Millions of people all over Europe have benefited from the programme, including many thousands of UK students. Thousands of their European counterparts get the opportunity to attend UK universities, contributing educationally, culturally and financially to communities up and down the country.
It is undeniably the case that the Erasmus+ programme has enabled generations of underprivileged young Europeans to travel, study and make lasting academic bonds and friendships. Withdrawing from it at a time when we need to maintain our close ties and cooperation with our friends and neighbours across Europe is a short-sighted damaging act against young people and UK universities.