Universities in the British Isles are committed to their efforts in favour of internationalisation and to supporting the European Union’s foreign exchange student programmes, leading newspaper The Telegraph reports.
According to the newspaper, the international presence of these institutions has been steadily growing in recent years, with many British learning institutions creating outreach student programmes and partnerships to allow both international students to come to Britain and British students to go abroad. Some of these programmes have even entailed the opening of campuses and research facilities in foreign countries, the periodical adds.
According to the piece, published on the Telegraph’s website, South America is perhaps the largest focus of attraction for these universities. With a quickly developing economic panorama and — in 2014 in particular — the World Cup being hosted in Brazil, the South American continent constitutes an extremely attractive prospect for campuses such as Oxford or Cambridge, and has in fact partially inspired this bid for internationalisation on the part of British universities.
Aside from the economic possibilities, however, Latin America is believed to offer the sort of culturally diverse experience these establishments look for in their student body. The higher investment in education and student programmes on the part of many Latin American governments has also enabled students from countries such as Chile, Argentina, Brazil or Colombia to travel overseas for an exchange as part of their Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees.
The only stumbling block for these universities when it comes to student placements is the almost universal call for proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese. The UK traditionally scores low for language-learning skills, and Portuguese in particular is not a readily available language, which may prevent more British students from heading to Brazil for a semester.
The UK-Latin American partnership recently came to fruition in an exchange between science students from the University of Surrey and the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil.
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