Gerhard Dannemann has criticized London’s decision not to participate in the European student exchange program Erasmus. All sides benefited greatly from the program promoting university living abroad, said the head of the Great Britain Center at Humboldt University in Berlin on Saturday at Deutschlandfunk.
Dannemann said that the future viability of the European Union and Great Britain also depends on Erasmus. He complained that there could be clearly higher scores in matters related to fishing than higher education and student exchanges. Dannemann hoped that the Erasmus program could possibly be continued with Scotland.
Even in Great Britain, the exit of the country from the Erasmus program after the final implementation of Brexit met with explicit criticism. European-friendly Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and his Welsh colleague Mark Drakeford accused the British government of “cultural vandalism”. At the turn of the year, Britain had also broken financially, with the EU eleven months after the political break.
The Erasmus Exchange Program has been in existence since 1987. Since then, approximately five million students have been supported to study abroad; It is considered one of the most popular programs in the European Union. In 2014, previous programs for lifelong learning, youth and sports as well as collaboration programs in higher education were merged under the name Erasmus +.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson justified the move, but Erasmus is extremely expensive for his country. He also announced a replacement program. He wanted to enable British students to study at the best universities in the world and not only in Europe. For the approximately 150,000 students from EU countries currently enrolled in British universities, studying abroad at universities in the United Kingdom is likely to be more expensive and difficult.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier regretted Britain’s withdrawal from the Erasmus program. He called on the government in London to clarify its alternative program early.