More than 7,000 students could suffer the consequences, as early as next year, of the Swiss vote in favour of annual quotas for workers, cross-border commuters and asylum seekers. Following Berne's announcement that it could not open its labour market to Croatian nationals, the European Commission decided to suspend talks on Swiss participation in the new Erasmus Plus exchange programme for the years 2014-2020. The decision will not affect the academic year under way (2013-2014), but could have an impact on students and teachers the following years.

Switzerland has taken part since 2011-2012 in the Lifelong Learning programme (which encompasses Erasmus) and in Youth on the Move. As a non-EU state, at the time it had to make a comprehensive financial contribution ('admission ticket') of around 50 million. In return, the Erasmus programme for the mobility of university students (study, training and traineeships) and teachers gave grants to around 2,900 Swiss students per year and to 4,100 EU students to pursue studies in Switzerland. The subsidies allowing these exchanges have added up to 250,000 annually since 2011.

This collaboration was meant to continue after 2013 under the new Erasmus Plus programme. However, when Swiss authorities announced that...

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