Monday, 3 February 2014

Yet more Erasmus students for London

In what must surely be an unintended consequence, the UK is set to enjoy the company of several thousand additional 'Erasmus' students from a forthcoming rule change. The EU is now requiring language proficiency at level B2 - upper intermediate - for all the 10,000 annual places on the well-funded Scholarship stream. But given that the most popular EU language course is English, this will largely restrict Erasmus scholars to spending their time in the UK and Ireland. 

This has not found favour with Eurostudents, who have come to see the Erasmus programme as a free travelling experience, and many of whom pick cheaper Euro nations such as Poland to eke out their Erasmus money. Very few actually study Polish, or Estonian, or Slovenian to B2 level.

Erasmus pays €375 a month to students visiting the UK, plus one-off sums of €250 and €300 respectively for finding accommodation and travel costs in addition to any higher education loans or grants the students already receive. Sites such as Erasmate allow them to swap cheap accommodation.

This is actually a good thing; the more Eurostudents who get to understand the British character, culture and way of life, the more friends we will have in Europe in the future. For once (and by accident) the EU has got something right.

5 comments:

Sackerson said...

Perhaps the civilising effect on foreigners is overrated. Pol Pot and his pals studied in Paris, and it didn't do Cambodia any good.

right_writes said...

I had a somewhat distant recollection that the Erasmus programme was somewhat mixed up with the Monnet Professorship programme...

Apart from their obvious connection to the EU, i.e. they are both funded by money that some of us have had removed from our pockets, and of course the fact that some Erasmus students go on to become Monnet professors, Wikipedia makes no such connection.

However this made me laugh: "The Programme is named after the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, known as an opponent of dogmatism..."

So the EU sponsored Erasmus student is taught not to be dogmatic...

Hmmm.

James Higham said...

Hanoi did not benefit either.

Demetrius said...

What a pity there are no John Rogers Scholarships, (See Wiki for John Rogers Bible and Martyr). Erasmus was a bit of a ducker and diver at times.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

I went on the Erasmus programme to Germany waaaaay back in the 80s. Obviously it was intended to turn me into a good little European citizen. It didn't. When we get a chance I will be voting 'out' along with all the insular small-minded people who stayed at home.