Wales‘ internationales Austauschprogramm

Wales‘ internationales Austauschprogramm

Following the UK’s exit from the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, the Welsh Government has now announced its own international funding programme for students.

Thanks to Erasmus+, the world’s largest learning exchange programme for stays abroad at universities, thousands of students were able to go to other EU countries every year. The UK in particular was very popular amongst students from Germany. However, after Brexit, the British Government also withdrew from the Erasmus+ programme.

The Welsh Government has now announced the launch of its own international learning exchange programme for student stays abroad. The ILE programme, the “International Learning Exchange Programme”, which offers similar opportunities to the globally recognised Erasmus+, will benefit students and teachers from Wales as well as higher education students who come to Wales to study, for internships or to work.

The ILE programme is subsidised by the Welsh Government to the tune of £65 million between 2022 and 2026. A fundamental principle of the programme will be reciprocal exchange with the aim of providing overseas mobility exchanges for 15,000 participants from Wales in the first four years and study or work abroad opportunities for 10,000 students from abroad in Wales.

For the Welsh Government, an international exchange programme is of great importance, bringing many benefits to both participants and educational institutions. There was therefore a strong interest in building on the excellent opportunities that the Erasmus+ programme has offered in the past.

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, said about the new programme: “Spending time studying, volunteering or on work placements abroad broadens horizons and expands key skills. We are determined to ensure that young people across our country benefit from these opportunities, as a down payment on our young people’s futures and offering opportunities to all. Wales is an outward-looking nation, which welcomes those who come to study or work here and embraces partnerships across Europe and the world.”

The new International Learning Exchange Programme is due to start next year in 2022. Until then, Welsh institutions will still participate in the UK Government’s “Turing Scheme” exchange programme in 2021/2022.

Image: Library at Bangor University, North Wales © Crown Copyright (2021) Visit Wales