In blunt comments, Iselin Nybø, Norway’s minister responsible for higher #education, urged students to avoid British universities.
Speaking to state broadcaster NRK, she said: “There’s so much uncertainty because of Brexit. If you’re a student and plan to travel out of Norway to study this autumn, I recommend you look at other countries than Great Britain.”
Last week, the European commission set out measures to protect the Erasmus international study programme in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It said it would honour the overseas placements of UK and EU27 students who were abroad at the time of a no-deal exit.
But Nybø said there were still concerns about the future of Erasmus for Norwegians, as Norway is not a member of the EU. She said: “We’re hoping we can make sure Norwegian students can both obtain degrees and take part in foreign exchange programmes.”
Dag Rune Olsen, the rector of the University of Bergen, tweeted that Nybø’s concerns were realistic and were shared among his colleagues in the UK.
But Britain’s ambassador to Norway, Richard Wood, said Nybø’s remarks were unfounded.
He insisted that even if the UK left the EU without a deal, the UK would underwrite funding for Erasmus students and other exchange programmes. In a tweet, he said: “UK remains an attractive place for Norwegians to study. I hope it always will.”
Under Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement Norwegian residents in the UK and British residents in Norway will have the same rights after Brexit. But there are no such guarantees if there is a no-deal exit.