Building a global network

June 18, 2015

The article on allowing British students to use state loans for fees abroad struck a chord with me (“David Willetts: allow student loans to be used abroad”, 2 June).

I, too, spoke at the British Council’s Going Global conference on a subject I am passionate about: how universities are the enablers of the creative economy, not just in the UK but also on the international stage. As a strong advocate of global education, I agree with Willetts’ premise of students using their loan to study abroad. At Bath Spa University, we strive to give our students opportunities to form international networks in the firm belief that as graduates they can confidently work in any country of the world. Our Global Citizenship programme provides funded opportunities for students to undertake an international placement as part of their undergraduate degree. If they were able to use their student loan to fund a year, or even two, at an international institution, our students would develop more robust skills and experience before entering the global employment market. As the world economy becomes more connected, so must higher education.

Christina Slade
Vice-chancellor, Bath Spa University

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