back to article British unis mull offshore EU campuses in post-Brexit vote panic

British universities are looking to deepen links with their continental counterparts or even open offshore campuses in order to maintain their EU ties. Universities face a double hit of reduced research funding and fewer EU students choosing British institutions thanks to Brexit uncertainty. Staff recruitment has also been hit …

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I was interested to see a program about this a few years ago on the telly, I was surprised so many were travelling abroad to learn. Not a bad thing to do if you've the funds to do so, opens up a whole new job market if you've additional language skills. Also the experience of living in a different country can be invaluable, if only for the access to other countries around where you are.

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That plus the fact you can often get it for free rather than incurring a £50,000 student loan. Many EU unis offer courses entirely in English in order to attract foreign (not just British) students.

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x 7
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"That plus the fact you can often get it for free rather than incurring a £50,000 student loan. Many EU unis offer courses entirely in English in order to attract foreign (not just British) students."

got any pointers as to which ones? My son would like to avoid a student loan

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works both ways but certainly works.

My wife (from Manchester) studied in Scotland then also did a year in Paris and New York thanks to scholarships. If you're bright enough the world is your oyster, as long as you get noticed early on. Her way wasn't entirely paid but with some part time work she didn't have to take on any additional debt. That's all without any help financially from her family.

Being fluent in even one additional language can absolutely open doors for you, I wish I'd paid more attention at school now..

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Anonymous Coward

which ones?

Many in Germany.

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Len

The University of Amsterdam has apparently seen a big influx of British students after the UK's hike in tuition fees (if Brexit actually happens that will only increase). Not only do they have entire programmes in English, you can easily live in Amsterdam without speaking Dutch.

A friend of mine only decided to take Dutch lessons after living in Amsterdam for six years, he's now been there for thirteen years, bought a house in Amsterdam and has no desire to come back to the UK.

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On the whole you won't find (m)any in France that do this, however, generally speaking, once you go to the countries that are stereotypically good at English (eg the Nordics and the Dutch-speaking countries) you will find a lot of courses taught in English.

More specifically, I have heard very good things about Flemish (Dutch speaking part of Belgium) universities in this respect. I remember seeing an article about British students studying at the University of Ghent (in the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium) in one of the broadsheets (The Times I think). The University of Leuven is probably also good in this respect, but geographically speaking it is on the 'wrong' side of Brussels. Both these universities have good English language websites.

Sadly, with the fog of Brexit surrounding everything, the cost of your son's education may go up.

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Ghent has a fantastic reputation in the very small specific area that interests me (Ontologies for Railways, since you didn't ask) and, having been there, is a really nice vibrant young city, much nicer than Brussels for a start. I don't know about the undergraduate side but all the academics and post grads speak embarrassingly flawless English, along side Flemish and French.

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Maastricht has a load of good programmes in English.

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Anonymous Coward

I would suggest you look at some good Netherlands Universities - not too difficult to search for - or have you tried?

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This isn't about UK citizens going to the Warsaw branch of Nuneaton University.

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Some great options in Sweden

Many degrees taught in English. Zero fees for EU students. My son is at Lund University (not far from Malmo and only 40 mins by train from Copenhagen Airport). Cost of living higher than West Midlands but cheaper than London (though that assessment was made before the step change in exchange rates in late June). Still, it is a very much better bet than £30k of fees.

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WTF?

"got any pointers". In his movie "Where to invade next" Michael Moore deals with this question in several European countries, like here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g3Km5kSi7A

What the hell is going on, now you have May apparently believing it's possible to lineup kids at the age of eleven in the bright and not so bright, what a totally stupid idea, known to be stupid more than one hundred years ago, my Deity.

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Facepalm

If Brexit actually happens?

a) that's your governments policy

b) any influx of British students enrolling at UVA won't increase, it will come to a complete halt

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Anonymous Coward

Avoid the £50k:- Trinity College Dublin

TCD have some fantastic courses in English, cost is about €3K/yr, weather is typically british, shopping is great! This, and all the other Irish universities are wonderful value for money. Entrance grades are complicated, being based on points. Point thresholds change each year.

Sweden does have great value tuition, Netherlands has some great value institutions. All the German/Austrian technology colleges that I looked at do require good German language skills.

My son has chosen to study science & engineering at a Swiss (French) university with about half the classes being in English language. ( other half of lectures are in quite slow French language, they offer a French language summer-school 'booster' course ) the annual cost , fees , is an unbelievable 800 quid per year. Accommodation is proving a minor problem, prices from CHF450.-/month up to thousands. . .

Some UK unis offer good value tuition, even with the £50k debt taken into account, but not many.

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Re: works both ways but certainly works.

With respect, your wife's situation does not compare that of kids today. My middle son is in his third year at uni and is in the second year of those taking on the debt required to fund their studies. Unless your wife did all of this studying and travelling in the last three years (a truly remarkable achievement) then your comments don't amount to much.

Today, the undergraduate period is where the costs arise. If your wife went on to study for a PhD then today, just as in previous years, there are grants to help. But universities offer only limited bursaries to mitigate some of the undergraduate study costs even for the most able students who are also from a less advantaged background.

By contrast, my eldest son who has now completed his degree course and is now working has almost no debt.

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@x 7

Check out Debrecen in eastern Hungary. Not only is it good academically (often thought of as Hungary's Cambridge), but many courses are entirely in English (understandably, there's a restricted audience for ones in Hungarian). And the cost of living is low, too.

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Given that the cost of a degree for UK students is now roughly £50k, and about double that for an international student, this just seems like good business for the Universities. I suppose it sounds a little less greedy if you do it whilst jumping to board the gloomy-Brexit bandwagon...

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Anonymous Coward

British universities were already getting a lot of money from those international students — that's the whole point. The students now don't want to come to a country that doesn't want them (over 10% drop already), so if the universities don't want a huge hole in their finances, they now have to move the jobs off-shore to teach those students in another country. And those students will also spend their money on food, accommodation, etc. elsewhere. It's a big problem of Brexit for the higher-education sector, and for businesses in university towns. Expect to see degree costs for UK students also go up.

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TRT
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Ok, so...

All the UK universities build a building or "buy" a floor in a building on a new University of Europe in, say, Ireland. Persuade Apple to spend a bit of that £13b building it - if it gives a non-EU country access to research funding and collaboration and working rights, then there's no stopping USA universities from having a presence there... could be the start of something wonderful.

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Headmaster

What's wrong with the French system? It sounded quite sane to me, although it was being explained to me by a French friend

Mind you, as all French people will tell you, the British way of doing anything at all is rubbish compared to the way La Belle France does it.

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Paris Hilton

Indeed, my alma mater has had a presence in Paris (oo-er, see icon) for many years now.

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french law

Its probably the french employment laws that put them off

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The only thing I've ever heard the French bitch about are UK mains plugs and non-mixer taps in bathrooms.

They are pretty open to other stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: french law

Nope. It's that they're the french that puts them off.

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Apart from the two Elite colleges and INSEAD french univerities are really low on the academic league tables. Open admission and disinterested staff would seem to be the norm.

I really do not see the problem Abertay univerity is full of Malaysian and Singaporean students who seem to have got there without hiding in a lorry at Calias and are very happy to be there (after a quick trip to Millets for the coats, gloves, scarfs thermal underwaer etc.).

Don't see why a German or Frenchy should have any more trouble.

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Plumbing was always a bit of a novelty in France.

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Say non to EU funding.

It's all very well for the French to take a negative attitude towards the British but where would they be now if we hadn't stepped up to the plate in both World Wars? Of course they could build another Maginot Line....

As for the Universities and their funding I can add some real experience of being involved in an EU backed project which is now in it's fourth year and counting....

First, don't be in a hurry, the overly detailed paperwork takes years.

Second, you are usually asked to match their funding; ie you don't get 100% of the money.

Third, the money comes with lots of unreasonable obligations and restrictions mostly geared to carbon footprint, cycling, walking and even live access to local transport timetables. The actual projects' aim is lost in the paperwork.

Fourth, they check everything (even counting the bike racks) that they have asked for before signing off the final funds and, again, this can take over a year.

And last but not least, they demand lots of EU signage to tell everyone that they put some of their/our money into it. Even the size and location of the EU signage gets a document!

My project should have been done and dusted in 18 months. After four years we are still not done.

The real beneficiaries of EU funding are those academics that keep creating new research projects as a way of avoiding ever getting a real job.

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Re: Say non to EU funding.

The real beneficiaries of EU funding are those academics that keep creating new research projects as a way of avoiding ever getting a real job.

And there is the crux of the matter. If they didn't get the EU funding they might have to actually teach for a living which might, if we are very lucky, mean that we would get graduates that know a little about their subject applying to enter the workforce.

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I suppose there isn't much wrong with the French system, but I guess the French system doesn't like a foreign university rocking up in France and setting up in competition with French universities, teaching a foreign curriculum, and, last but not least, not in French.

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Funny, it's quite common to hear jokes about UK plumbing in France. In particular anemic water pressure in showers. Maybe it's a case of "filer à l'anglaise" vs. "taking a French leave"?

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Happy

Milletts in Dundee is now closed - they'll have to go to Black's instead.

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Len

I doubt it will have anything to do with the French educational system. If you are a UK university opening a campus in France it's not because you want to adopt the French system, it's more likely you want to export the British system (or at least the brand name of the university).

I would say it is more likely that the hassle to open up a higher education campus in France is more than in for instance Finland or the Baltics.

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France has some very good business schools. Besides, a problem in English/French translation is that a French université is at a lower level than a UK university, meaning that if you go into a job interview and say that you have been to the University of X,you might get some strange looks. I always had to say that it was the equivalent of an "école d'ingénieurs".

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Len

True. A 'university' is not the same as a 'université'. Ironically for English speakers, one of the most prestigious forms of education in France is the 'école normale'...

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école normale

Isn't that ironically similar to the "public school" in the UK ?

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@ Uncle Slacky

Shouldn't that be alma pater?

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Re: Say non to EU funding.

@steamnut

"It's all very well for the English to think the French take a negative attitude towards the British"

Corrected for accuracy.

This Dail Wail/Faily Express world view isn't going to get any better after brexit is it?

Plus ça change, as they say.

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Re: french law

Open enrolement is a problem for many courses. You end up with massive first year classes with a 80% drop out rate. It's less a problem in science/engineering because you can set pre-req.

Staff is a bigger problem, jobs are civil service. So it's very very difficult for a new post-doc to get a permanent job, but once they do they are set for life and impossible to fire - makes for some pretty hide bound departments.

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Re: french law

I have two ex Italian academics working in my company who fled the appalling approach Italian Universities take for jobs for the boys (actually really) or family of the prof. They are bloody good, very welcome to be paying them 3-4 times what they could earn in Italy. There are consequences though - we are based in Scotland. But hey, the Romans legions did it :-)

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Anonymous Coward

"filer à l'anglaise" vs. "taking a French leave"

-or "capote anglais" v " French letter"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Say non to EU funding.

"And there is the crux of the matter. If they didn't get the EU funding they might have to actually teach for a living which might, if we are very lucky, mean that we would get graduates that know a little about their subject applying to enter the workforce."

Given the absolutely awful standard of academic pedagogical practice, especially from those who are research orientated, your average student will suffer even more than they do already. One such 'research' academic I have the misfortune to deal with has less teaching qualifications than I and other members of my technical support team do, unlike most they believe treating students like shit when they are power-tripping whilst lecturing™ is perfectly fine. One can only hope the TEF will weed out these people before they affect my employers student satisfaction survey ratings too much, though no doubt the UCU will fight tooth and nail to keep them in a job they are really not suitable for.

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a lot of Spanish Universities are similar, depending on where you are, most places seem to think any study that rates as further education is a Uni' course.

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"The only thing I've ever heard the French bitch about are UK mains plugs and non-mixer taps in bathrooms."

Oh yes, I used to get the non-mixer tap grouse from the French.

The trouble is, once you've got used to them being everywhere, mixer taps are so much more convenient.

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Re: Say non to EU funding.

"It's all very well for the French to take a negative attitude towards the British but where would they be now if we hadn't stepped up to the plate in both World Wars?"

That would never have been an issue if you hadn't lost the 100 years war, now would it?

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"disinterested staff would seem to be the norm"

Sounds like most of the British teachers I've ever had to endure. Let's see - indifference, not knowing the subject, not caring if there were children of different abilities, and maybe worse not even realising that some of my friends were getting completely lost and left behind...

I don't think crappy teachers are the speciality of any particular nation.

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"Ironically for English speakers, one of the most prestigious forms of education in France is the 'école normale'..."

And then you have the ENS - the "Superior Normal School". There's always one that has to try outdo the other by coming up with a posher name ;)

BTW, the remark about it being a nightmare in France for offshoring unis would likely be due to the loi de Sauvadet which automatically converts a contracted position into a permanent position after 6 years. Not a bad system for private companies (prevents the eternal contract), but in higher education, it's a nightmare as your "employer" is the entire French higher education system. So impossible to go from from one uni to another as its the same "employer".

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Slx
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Over here Ireland we have kilometres and Euros but we also have pints of beer and enormous 3-pin fused plugs. The sacred plumbing tradition of these islands has also been preserved - usually keeping the hot and cold water carefully separated for absolutely no logical reason!

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x 7
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"keeping the hot and cold water carefully separated for absolutely no logical reason!"

Its to stop siphonage of water from the hot tank into the cold water system. Hot water tanks are often bacteria laden due to dead pigeons / rats / mice / bats or their shit in the header / expansion tank and you don't want that kind of gunge getting back into the drinkable cold water system.

When you were a child did your parents never tell you not to drink from the hot water tap?

Less of a problem nowadays with covered tanks, but still a risk

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