Support for Erasmus grows in UK

Nieuws | de redactie
26 maart 2012 | The British House of Lords urged the government to revoke its opposition to the 70% Erasmus exchange budget increase proposed by the EU Commission. Instead, PM David Cameron should come up with plans to convince Brits to study abroad.

In the report “Modernisation of Higher Education inEurope” the British House of Lords stated that “many of ourwitnesses supported the Commission’s proposed funding increase for Erasmus for All.While the British Council speculated that the increase couldhypothetically result in a doubling of student mobility funding forthe United Kingdom, the Minister stood alone in opposing theproposed 70 per cent funding increase for Erasmus for All asbeing  ‘completely unrealistic’.”

“We note the government’s opposition to the Commission’spreferred funding increase for Erasmus for All but reiterate ourview that this programme merits a proportionately larger allocationunder the next multi-annual financial framework.”

Tackle low outward mobility

Instead of curtailing the Erasmus program, the House of Lorddemands that the Education Minister David Willets does somethingabout the low mobility of British students. This would entail forinstance that foreign languages become mandatory subjects inprimary and secondary schools.

In the report, the House of Lords points out that “outwardmobility from comparator countries including France, Germany andSpain is still approximately three times that of the United Kingdomand, as a result, the United Kingdom is a substantial net receiverof Erasmus students from elsewhere in the EU.”

“The government must place higher education at the heart oftheir growth agenda in order to maintain and contribute to theeconomic and social wealth of the UK and Europe as a whole. In theimmediate few months, this will require the government to negotiateambitiously to allocate a greater proportion of the long-term EUbudget to research, innovation and education, including the Erasmusprogramme.”

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