CollegesWales International leads on development opportunities overseas for learners and staff through Erasmus+ and the Turing Scheme. We also work closely with Welsh Government to shape the International Learning Exchange Programme to suit the needs of further education learners and staff.
Following the decision by the UK Government not to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme for the 2021 – 2027 period, in March 2021, Welsh Government introduced an International Learning Exchange Programme for Wales.
The new scheme will run from 2022 to 2026 and will be supported by an investment of £65m. CollegesWales International is working closely with Welsh Government on developing the Programme so that it suits the needs of the FE colleges in Wales.
Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that Wales remains an outward-looking nation, which welcomes those who come to study or work here and embraces partnerships across Europe and the world. They recognise that students and staff are vital ambassadors in promoting that message overseas, and their education and cultural awareness are improved in many ways as a result of spending time abroad - just as our education providers are enriched by students and staff visiting Wales to study and teach.
The Programme will create a wide range of international educational exchanges involving both physical mobility and strategic partnerships. There will be a strong emphasis on supporting all educational settings including youth work organisations and adult education. A fundamental principle of the Programme will be reciprocity between Welsh institutions and those overseas, both within Europe and further afield.
International mobility and exchange will play an essential part in ensuring that collaboration with organisations across Europe and beyond is able to continue and flourish despite the detrimental impact in recent years of Brexit, the UK Government’s decision not to participate in Erasmus+, and the Covid19 Pandemic.
Spending time studying, volunteering or on work placements abroad broadens horizons, expands key skills and brings benefits to communities and organisations here in Wales. CollegesWales International is encouraged that young people from all backgrounds can benefit from these opportunities. With this Programme, Wales is investing in a strong, international and prosperous future for all young people.
“We are pleased to welcome today’s Welsh Government announcement. The value of international exchange programmes has long been known in the FE sector, providing opportunities to broaden the horizons of its participants which in turn gives a positive impact on individuals, colleges and the wider community. This assurance will also allow us to maintain and build on our relationships with overseas partners.”
Guy Lacey, CollegesWales Chair
Welsh Government International Learning Exchange Programme
An International Learning Exchange Programme for Wales
Our International and European Project Manager Siân Holleran leads the Welsh Government International Learning Exchange Programme on behalf of CollegesWales International. Contact Siân for further information: Sian.Holleran@colegaucymru.ac.uk