University of Exeter logo

Research and Innovation blog

Home About Contact Toggle navigation Open menu

European languages and partnerships remain critical for global Exeter and Britain

21 June 2021

4 minutes to read

European languages and partnerships remain critical for global Exeter and Britain

“European languages and partnerships remain critical for global Exeter and Britain” is written by Sally Faulkner, Exeter’s Assistant Deputy Vice Chancellor (Europe).

On Friday 18th June, the University of Exeter welcomed Susannah Poulton, a Government International Trade Adviser and graduate of Spanish and German, to our latest Languages in a Global World event. Susannah spoke passionately about the career, business and trade opportunities provided by studying languages.

Sally Faulkner

Prof Sally Faulkner

I was delighted to lead the question and answer session following an opening by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lisa Roberts and a discussion with Provost, Professor Janice Kay. Susannah explained to the live audience how learning languages and communicating across cultures was an essential skillset for the next generation and future international growth for UK businesses. A recording of the event is available on the University YouTube account here.

The event was also the launch of Exeter’s crowdfunding campaign to support students to study and work abroad. Following the withdrawal from the Erasmus+ Scheme and the creation of the new UK Turing Scheme there may be less funding to support international learning and employment experiences for students. At Exeter, around 500 students per year benefitted from Erasmus funding and in the future we want to ensure that a student’s background or financial circumstances does not limit their life choices and career opportunities.

Studying or working abroad boosts students’ confidence, enhances their CVs and enables them to develop graduate-level skills for global employability. We know that students who have studied or worked abroad do better academically, are 32% less likely to be unemployed, more likely to be in a graduate-level job and receive a 5% higher starting salary than those without overseas experience.

We have a long history of facilitating our students to work and study abroad, as well as welcoming students to our campuses as part of exchange agreements. Understanding difference and embracing diversity are crucial to both personal growth and building community and the new fundraising programme is designed to support as many students as possible for short and long-term placements.

In my previous Europe Blog – Life after Brexit – I was honest about my disappointment at the loss of Erasmus+ but also my determination to make the new Turing scheme work for our students. Through the new Turing scheme we have requested funding for study abroad placements to all possible destinations to maintain our Europe exchanges but also new locations around the world. There is new flexibility to offer 4 week to 12 month placements and we have prioritised widening access and participation for all our students. We hope to find out in July how successful we have been in our application for funding and there are also some positive signs about inbound nominations and international interest for the 2021/22 academic year. We will let everyone know the results as soon as we can and open up the opportunities for students to take part.

On Horizon Europe research funding, we have the same rights and access to the programme as those from a Member State would have and so with the advent of the new Horizon Programme, we are establishing a Europe Funder Advisory Network (FAN) to support future participation. A call for new members and a new chair for our Europe FAN has just closed and we will provide membership details very shortly. This academic group brings together specialists with excellent knowledge and experience of funding bodies and who have strategically supported our research effort as an institution to obtain funding. Their remit will include: reviewing Horizon Europe 2020 strengths and weaknesses, communicating and promoting the opportunities for the 2021 to 2027 programme, supporting and incentivising future participation, identifying candidates and our approach for European Research Council grants, supporting Marie Curie Fellowships (including the potential for targeted Global Fellowships in support of our global partnerships) and making connections with EU reviewers. Please look out for details of the Europe FAN chair and members who, working alongside College Associate Deans and Department Directors of Research, can help you access European research funds.

I want to highlight that the Europe Network Fund grants will open on 1 August, which the Global Partnerships team operate, for colleagues to work with any one of our 8 European strategic partners and can help build towards Horizon applications and/or education collaborations.

As a reminder our 8 European strategic partners are:

Finally, our collaboration with Venice International University (VIU) is going from strength to strength.  The University of Exeter joined the VIU in December 2019, and is currently the only UK member. Founded in 1996, the organisation comprises 20 prestigious international universities, including Duke (USA), Tsinghua (China), and Stellenbosch (South Africa). The Venice campus provides a shared physical space for learning and community-building and is well connected with other Italian higher education establishments.

Exeter Humanities students and academics are playing an especially active role in the first phase of involvement, although the benefits are starting to be felt across other disciplines and colleges too. The past year has seen the first staff involvement in the Globalisation programme. During semester 2 Professor Richard Toye (History) was selected for a visiting position, teaching modules on ‘London Politics since 1800’ and on ‘History of Global Governance’. Richard says: ‘It is a very exciting opportunity to be working in such a stimulating academic setting, and I have really enjoyed working with a variety of international students and staff.”

You can read the full story on our Europe News website which also includes translations in Spanish, German and French written by students from our Masters in Translation Studies and supported by colleagues in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, giving our students brilliant practical skills. We may have exited the European Union but I am clear that European languages and partnerships remain critical for global Exeter and Britain.

Read our dedicated European blog and news page. We welcome content and story ideas. You can contact me or the with your European stories.

Related Links

Research and Innovation website


Prof. Sally Faulkner


Back home