On Friday, the day that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, the University of Luxembourg and other higher education and research bodies from across the UK and Europe have reaffirmed their commitment to working together.

Alongside the University of Luxembourg, a total of 36 major UK and international organisations, which includes Universities UK, the European University Association (EUA), the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and many national rectors’ conferences across Europe, have committed to maintaining their current relationships. These groups have asked governments and the European Commission to ensure full association to Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe before the end of 2020.

The statement reads: “We, the major bodies representing science and higher education across the UK and Europe, are united in agreeing that we wish to continue to work together following the departure of the UK from the European Union. We call on our national governments and the European Commission to act on the commitments of the political declaration and work swiftly to agree a basis for continued collaboration through the UK’s full association to Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. Swift agreement in this area of clear mutual benefit would be good for all of us and should be reached before the end of 2020”.

From midnight tonight, the UK and the EU will enter a transition period lasting until 31 December 2020. During this transition period, the UK will remain a full member of Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. There will be no changes to the UK’s participation in these programmes, including for projects and mobilities that run past 31 December 2020.

The UK’s participation in Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, starting 1 January 2021, will be part of the negotiations between the UK and the EU. UK universities have pressed the UK government to prioritise negotiating continued participation in these programmes and, if that cannot be achieved, to explore putting into place national replacement schemes.

The full list of signatories:

Academy of Medical Sciences

Aurora Universities Network

British Council EU Region

CaSE - Campaign for Science and Engineering

CBI - Confederation of British Industry


Latvian Rectors' Council

CPU - Conference of University Presidents, France

CRASP - Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland

CRC - Czech Rectors’ Conference

CREF - Council of Rectors of the French-Speaking Universities of Belgium

CRUE Universidades Españolas - Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities

CRUI - Conference of Italian University Rectors

CRUP - Portuguese Council of Rectors

ECIU - European Consortium of Innovative Universities

EUA - European University Association

Flemish Interuniversity Council

GuildHE - a UK representative body for small and specialist universities and colleges

HRC - Hungarian Rectors’ Conference

HRK - German Rectors' Conference

Icelandic Rectors' Conference

Irish Universities Association

LERU - League of European Research Universities

SUHF - Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions


The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities

UNICA - Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe

UNIFI - Universities Finland

Universities Austria

Universities Denmark

Universities Estonia

Universities Lithuania

Universities Norway

University of Luxembourg

Universities UK

VSNU - Association of Universities in the Netherlands