George Clerk

Flemish regrets as UK drops out of Erasmus

Change is under way for the many Flemish young people eager to study in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland now that the UK is leaving the EU’s popular Erasmus exchange programme. The programme provides grants for students to study in another European country, but UK PM Boris Johnson, who enjoyed part of his education at the European School in Brussels, believes it’s too expensive.

The UK has always been a popular destination for European students.  Figures for three years ago show 32,000 European students heading for the UK with 16,000 British students studying on the continent.  “Not in balance” is Mr Johnson’s verdict. The UK will now set up a new programme that will allow students from the wider world to study in the UK.

The UK’s departure from Erasmus is regretted in Flanders. Herman Van Goethem, Rector of Antwerp University, says it’s a shame; “Exchange with the UK is important because of the fine universities there.  We are hopeful we will be able to send students to the UK also in the future as part of the new programme”.

Prof Van Goethem believes exchanges will have to be negotiated bilaterally between universities.

“As UK universities form part of particularly commercial models with very high tuition fees government funding will be required.  Otherwise exchanges will be impossible.”

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