Amsterdam launches bid to snatch EU students from Brexit Britain with English courses

Netherlands: Erasmus to attract ‘more EU students’ post-Brexit

Amsterdam is looking to take full advantage of the UK’s decision to pull out of the Erasmus study exchange programme in the wake of Brexit. Dutch organisations in charge of running the country’s Erasmus programme believe the city could become a rival to London for students from the European Union. This comes after a recent study showed that half of the students pursuing a degree in English would choose to study in the Netherlands if they were unable to attend university in the UK.  

The Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education are looking to fill a gap were the UK to become unaffordable for foreign students without the financial help of Erasmus to cover tuition fees and the cost of living.

According to their spokesperson, Jeroen Wienen, the Netherlands is confident they can succeed in competing with the UK for English-language students.  

He said: “that is mostly due to our programmes in the Netherlands being of high quality, people speaking relatively good English in the Netherlands, and there are a lot of study programmes that are all in English.”

MEPs have bemoaned No10’s decision to quit the EU scheme, claiming it is one of the biggest disappointments from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed on Christmas Eve.

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Other EU members have also claimed Britain’s departure has paved the way for a boost in their own education industries.

Irish MEP Sean Kelly said his country his now the best option for students no longer allowed to travel to the UK.

“I think it’s very important that we look at expanding Erasmus,” he said.

The Irish government has announced it will fund students from Northern Ireland to continue participating in Erasmus.

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Boris Johnson refused to sign up to the scheme despite holding intensive talks about joining it during the wrangling over the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement. 

Insiders say the Prime Minister shunned rejoining Erasmus because it favours middle-class children and does not represent his “levelling up” agenda.

But Downing Street has said it will spend more than £100 million on a post-Brexit alternative that will promote global Britain.

The Department for Education announced an international scheme, named after Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing, that will provide funding for around 35,000 students to go on placements across the world from September.


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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson last year said: “We now have the chance to expand opportunities to study abroad and see more students from all backgrounds benefit from the experience.

“We have designed a truly international scheme which is focused on our priorities, delivers real value for money and forms an important part of our promise to level up the United Kingdom.”

The new scheme will aim to provide opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

About 35,000 British students are said to have annually taken part in the Erasmus programme.

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