On the ball

January 3, 2013

Regarding "The world in their sights: Science without Borders", part of your recent cover feature "Boom times and golden goals" (13 December). The Science without Borders programme in the UK has enjoyed considerable success since its launch last year, with more than 500 undergraduates placed at over 70 UK higher education institutions in September 2012 alone. This compares with the 591 students placed in the first US cohort, a fantastic achievement given the relative size of the two countries. We have also offered places to more than 550 undergraduates who are due to start their courses this month. A further 150 applications for PhDs and postdoctorates have been received.

English-language skills have been a barrier to some students participating in the programme. We have worked proactively with the Brazilian agencies to address this issue, and from this year the programme will offer fully funded pre-sessional English courses. We expect that this will further boost the numbers placed at UK institutions.

Science without Borders UK is one of the largest student-mobility programmes operating in this country and we are incredibly proud of its successes so far. We have had a great response from British institutions keen to place these talented individuals.

With so many Brazilian students starting courses at UK institutions in the first year of the programme, it is clear that there is huge interest in studying on these shores. With the large volume of people attending our recent roadshow events in Brazil, this interest looks set to grow. We look forward to welcoming up to 10,000 Brazilian students to the UK by 2016.

Tania Lima, Programme director, Science without Borders UK.

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