Brexit goes beyond economic relations. One aspect that also has an impact are the exchanges through the Erasmus program that the students of the University of León benefit from. The Vice-Rector’s Office for Internationalization specifies that the dozen UK universities with which the Leonese institution has an agreement will continue with the program until May 2023, since most have just renewed the agreement in 2020, which is valid for three years .
This course, the fourteen students from the University of León who planned to do an Erasmus with English universities have been largely affected by the pandemic, although five of them have already started the course there. Others have resigned, because the host university only contemplated telematic classes, with which they decided to postpone the scholarship, since among its objectives is the cultural enrichment by residing in another country. In addition, this year, the student is not penalized, who can enjoy this scholarship only once.
The annual average of student exchanges through this program between León and the United Kingdom was around 40, although it was mainly the Leonese who nurtured the group. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal is also based on this aspect, that upon completing Brexit and disengaging from the European exchange program par excellence, he will design his own plan so that his students can travel to universities in other countries, but without being recipients of students.
From the vice-chancellor they point out that many of the British universities have contacted the ULE to inform that they will continue with the program and show their concern about their exit from the Erasmus program. For now, until 2023 there will be no major changes, although Leonese traveling to the United Kingdom will have to do more bureaucracy since, since they are no longer in European territory, they will have to present more supporting documents, such as residence in the country.
The University of León will keep open until Monday the deadline to request an Erasmus grant for the next academic year. The Leonese institution has more than 200 bilateral agreements and more than two thousand places are offered with the option of studying a whole year abroad or just one of the semesters. The grants can range between 200 and 300 euros per month, to which 200 more will be added if the student has a scholarship from the ministry. In addition, the Junta de Castilla y León also grants another 50 euros per month.
From the Office of International Relations of the University of León, Héctor Paredes Suárez explains that “despite all the health crisis in which not only Spain but the whole world is immersed, there is a great interest on the part of students and More than 400 university students have already applied ». It is important to note that the penalty policy has been modified and is now much more flexible in relation to cancellations: they are not taken into account whenever it is due to the pandemic or derived problems »
The Vice-Rectorate for Internationalization has convened an extra help for students at the University of León who are on international exchange this 2020/2021 academic year, with the aim of defraying part of the expenses involved in carrying out PCR tests to be able to return home or go to the exchange destination. The Leonese institution continues to bet on internationalization and has one of its great bets for international mobility in the Erasmus + call.