Feb 19, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

With the future of international mobility in the UK remains unknown in the wake of Brexit, the UK is weighing its options. One possibility currently under consideration? Creating and funding its own outward mobility agency. Here’s a closer look at the situation, according to a recent BBC report.

“A Matter of Negotiations”

While the UK government says that access to EU international mobility programs, including Erasmus, are still open for negotiations, other insiders are adding their voices to the debate.

While elite British university Vice-Chancellor Colin Riordan indicated that while he was “absolutely in favor” or study abroad, he also expressed concerns about the “relatively inflexible” nature of Erasmus+.  His suggestion? While leaving Erasmus+ may not be the solution, it would be “worthwhile” to at least consider other avenues. (The Welsh government, meanwhile, has already determined that ongoing participation in the Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and other EU mobility schemes is a priority looking ahead.)

“Open to the World”

Proponents of looking beyond Erasmus+ insist that a new mobility program could be structured to better meet the needs of UK students while simultaneously looking beyond the UK.

Continued Professor Riordan, “We need to think of it in terms of not just the EU but the whole world. So there’s China, there’s India, there’s Australia, there’s Canada, New Zealand -- there’s countries all over the world that we might want to send our students to as well as the European Union states. So, I think we do need to at least consider the possibilities for taking a different approach to this and having our own outward mobility agency this is funded by the British government to do just that.”

The good news? There’s still some time to figure things out. According to an announcement made by the prime minister earlier this year, the UK will continue to participate in Erasmus+ until at least the end of 2020.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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