In Strasbourg, the British ambassador to France seeks to renew university cooperation

Mena Rawlings, New England’s ambassador to France, wants to rebuild cooperation decades after Brexit abruptly stopped. She was in Strasbourg on Monday.

Ambassador of the United Kingdom to France since the end of August, Menna Rawlings A lot needs to be done to prevent relations between the two countries from boiling back into a fierce rivalry. The United Kingdom has noted that after Brexit, French students have more difficulty coming to study at Oxford, Cambridge or Cardiff, except for the issue of migration and the issue of fishing thorns. Menna Rawlings, who visited Strasbourg on Monday, December 6, described her strategy for resuming educational exchanges between the two countries.

Menna Rawlings at the Palace of the University Palace (photo PF / Rue89 Strasbourg / cc)

Rue89 Strasbourg: French and Alsatian students praised their ability to travel to London for a few months to pursue part of their studies. This is no longer possible as the UK is no longer participating in the European Erasmus project. What are you going to do about it?

Menna Rawlings: The United Kingdom has a long educational tradition, with excellent centers such as Oxford or Cambridge, and higher universities in Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff … We replace Erasmus with administrative and legal tools. We encourage universities like Strasbourg to place their preferred ethics with British universities. Regions, cities and universities need to make these direct connections, without waiting for international agreements, which will inevitably take a long time. This is why I promised to visit every region of France during my first year as Ambassador.

Asking universities to manage within themselves runs the risk of creating a complex deal for students to segregate, doesn’t it?

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I do not think so. On the one hand, a French student does not have to apply for a visa to study in the UK for less than six months. At the embassy, ​​we make sure to make the procedures as easy as possible for as long as possible. On the other hand, we have developed a national plan to educate 3,000 British students in France by 2021. We hope that a similar project will be implemented in France soon, although we are well aware that this is not the time now. Put such a plan on the diplomatic agenda.

In the end, did not the pre-Brexit agreements be built on bricks?

It’s not about looking back. Brexit is a fact now, the British people have voted, the government has done it, we must create the future now. My job today is to find out which French companies can or want to develop closer ties with the UK. So, I’ll be back to the University of Strasbourg soon to see how much I can change with President Denek. European Horizon Project, Which oversees international exchanges at the author-researcher level.

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