School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies (CLAS) Statement on Brexit
The Year Abroad and Brexit
Fees for the Year Abroad
The University of Nottingham is Britain’s global University, whatever lies ahead of us after the result of the EU referendum. Within that global vision, the University’s School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, has, from a single Professor of French in 1897, grown in tandem with our society’s increasing desire to understand and appreciate cultures and languages beyond our own,and is now one of the largest and most thriving centres for studying the languages and cultures of Europe and beyond. Today, 48% of our staff are EU citizens from outside the UK, whose expertise in their field makes a major contribution to our School; some 10% of our students are from outside the UK.
At a time when voices in the debates about Britain’s place in Europe all too often play on fears of the unknown, of the outsider, and when opinions are so divided,we cannot afford to retreat into a world where we hear only the voices of those who agree with us, or only those who are able to accommodate to us by using English. Now more than ever, it is our students of languages and cultures who will develop the skills, knowledge, and cultural sensitivity to lead Britain in bridging cultural divides, building cross-cultural relationships, and so making possible Britain’s peaceful, enriching and prosperous relations with our fellow Europeans, as with the world beyond.
In the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, we reaffirm our resolve to teach and research the languages, cultures and histories of Europe, of the Americas, Africa and Asia, in ways that excite and challenge our students, and that encourage our local community and the wider society to think about our world, and our humanity, in new and challenging ways. Our mission is to prepare our students for a lifetime of understanding and critically engaging with the points of view and cultural frames of reference of others – whatever language they speak. In this way our staff and students are at the heart of what it means to be a truly global university.
What will happen to the Year Abroad?
Currently students on their Year Abroad can undertake study, work placements, or British Council teaching assistantships. Now that the UK Government has invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the process of leaving the EU, a two-year period of negotiation has begun, during which the UK will still maintain all aspects of its current EU Membership. Even after that period, the Year Abroad will continue, and students at Nottingham will continue to have a range of options for their Year Abroad. After all, Year Abroad provision for languages students in British universities began many years before the UK’s membership of the EU. Likewise, the teaching assistantships scheme run by the British Council has existed for over a century, and a statement from Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at the British Council, signals that the British Council expects to find ways to continue partnerships with other European countries.
A statement from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, published on 28 June 2016, gives some initial information about the UK’s future access to the Erasmus+ programme.
We will provide updates as further information becomes available.
The University of Nottingham will continue to charge a substantially reduced fee for the Year Abroad for all home students starting their courses in 2017 and 2018, regardless of whether or not the University is eligible to receive Erasmus funding following the UK exit from the EU. The same reduced fee is also paid by other home students going abroad as part of their degree outside Europe, including our students of American & Canadian Studies students going to North America.
Nicola McLelland, Head of School
Cultures, Languages and Area Studies