As a result of the post-Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union agreed today, the British are leaving the Erasmus student exchange program. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is now working on his global exchange program.
Johnson insisted it was “a tough decision”. It was “great” for the UK to be able to host so many European students, but the program appears to be “too expensive” for the UK.
Boris Johnson now wants to work on an exchange project that allows British students to study at “the best universities” in the world, including outside Europe.
Chief European negotiator Michel Barnier said he regrets that the UK is no longer part of Erasmus.
There are also disappointing reactions from Flanders. Flemish Education Minister Ben Wits (N-VA) believes that the bilateral exchange program the British wish to establish would not be able to match the Erasmus program in terms of size, ease of use and brand awareness. It appears that “this is unfortunate for the hundreds of Flemish youths who cross the Channel every year to study or train, but also for young British people who are now having more difficulty accessing our top universities”.
The Dean of the University of Antwerp, Hermann Van Goethe, indicated on Radio 1 that exchanges with Great Britain are important, because there are many good universities. “We hope that we will still be able to send students there in the context of the exchange, but one university after another may have to be negotiated.”
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