By Dane McBeth
For many at UWS it’s the first day of term with first year and returning students beginning classes. For students who are part of the Erasmus programme (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) in particular, which is an EU student exchange programme, it can be a difficult time with the challenges joining a university in a new country brings.
Students on the programme have the option of staying for a single term or a full year. This term the School of Media, Culture & Society reports that it has enrolled a record number of students who have opted to study at UWS for the full year.
This is promising news for those involved in the programme as doubts around the future viability of Erasmus in post-Brexit Scotland has created concerns for students and staff alike.
Lynn Sinclair, the Erasmus student co-ordinator for the School of Media, Culture & Society admitted that there was not yet clarity on what is to happen to the programme after Britain leaves the EU however remained hopeful that there would be a commitment to providing student exchange opportunities in some form in the future.
“The feeling is that it may not be called ERASMUS anymore,” Lynn explained.
“I think the actual process and the commitment to studying abroad is going to remain and there is a strong feeling that it’s very important for us to offer this to students abroad.”
This will serve as assurance to some that even when Britain has left the EU there will still be opportunities for study abroad and also for foreign students hoping to come and study at UWS.
A former Erasmus student, Fiona Mackie who is now a 4th year journalism student and previously travelled to Stuttgart, Germany for a term reflected on the experience positively.
“Erasmus was a real life changing experience, especially for myself as I lack in self confidence. It was an amazing opportunity that the university offered, and I met people from all over the world who I am still friends with today. I think it’s a shame that Brexit could potentially put Erasmus on hold for now, it is an experience that I feel maybe all uni students should have the option of experiencing. I definitely gained a lot of confidence and independence, and it is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.”
The Erasmus programme is not the only student exchange programme which the university offers with 140 partners across Europe and North America who work with the university to offer student exchange opportunities. The impact of Brexit is expected to bring changes in the upcoming year to the scope of these opportunities however the exact nature of these changes is not yet known.
Students with any queries regarding ERASMUS can contact the university at firstname.lastname@example.org