Regarding the point of your article ( School trips to UK from EU could be cut in half as Brexit hits cultural exchanges , June 4), we have a very important paradox. The British government talks about "World Britain", but it seems completeDon't understand the growing role of soft power in global influence.
To have a true global role, the world must “know” the UK , including its culture, education, media, values, history and all the rest of the country that has merit. A world where its future leaders have great empathy for the UK is a sine qua non for establishing a global Britain.
And there is so much the country can do to help itself this way, besides making school trips from abroad easier.
My little list: making it easier to obtain travel visas; making university education easier for international students, again with cheaper visas (and getting rid of the ridiculous NHS surcharge); allow foreign students free access to BBC iPlayer; make UK entry points much more pleasant; and, for goodness sake, get rid of the "hostile environment " that parts of the British system seem to enjoy.
In the big scheme of things, all of these things are cheap and makes for great value in terms of the smooth horsepower they buy. But we cannot have both a lack of generosity and a soft power at the same time. Playing the role of the "bad party" can never help make Britain global.
I totally agree with the prediction that European schools will send fewer children to Britain as part of the Tear class. I am an English teacher in a German secondary school and so far we have organized two trips to Grande Bretagne each year, one as an exchange with our partner school in Surrey, the other for English A-level students.
These trips are very popular and extremely beneficial for children, and not just as a way to improve their language skills and learn more about another country. I know several former students who have been in regular contact with their exchange partners for years. However, for us teachers, organizing these trips is a lot of work. If we were to regularly apply for visas and change our schedule to cope with the rising costs (we have a set budget for our trips so that all families can afford them), I would start looking for alternative destinations. . It would be a shame, for us and the students, and perhaps for Great Britain as well.
I read your article with horror and dismay. As a volunteer guide, I took young students from all over Europe on a tour of the beautiful city of Bath, which was pictured alongside the printed version of the article. Bath became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987; one of the reasons for this was the recognition of the social scene, started by the Romans (who welcomed visitors from all over Europe) and even more entrenched in the 18th century, when tourists, rich and poor alike, flocked to Bath to enjoy social life.
How sad that this aspect of the Unesco classification is undermined by a Home Office which cannot see beyond "the commitment to strengthen securitye from our s ”. Do they really think a school party is a safety risk? Ch follow them if they do.
As times change! Above my desk I have a single-sheet framed British passport issued in the 1870s to my great-grandfather, a director about to take a trip abroad with some students. The usual preamble is followed by "... asks and demands, on behalf of Her Majesty, all whom it may concern to allow the Reverend Charles Baker (British subject) accompanied by four children, traveling on the Continent , to pass freely without leaving or hindering ”. No mention of the names of the children or the continent concerned.
One can only hope that this lack of past attention to detail will not cause nightmares to some people highplaced.
Cadier en Keer, Netherlands
You report that the Minister of Borders, Kevin Foster, defends the government's refusal to authorize a visa regime that makes our more secure”. Does he really think that French and German teenagers will go to bed and try to find work picking vegetables in the Fens? I suspect it has more to do with the Little England mentality of seeing any kind of personal contact with Europeans as a pernicious danger that could expose our own teenagers to more liberal European values.
I just read your article on the government making it compulsory for people under 18 from other countries to have a full passport to visit the UK,rather than a simple identity card, which makes them unlikely young people from less well-off families will be able to participate in school trips and exchanges.
J I did exchanges in Germany and France in 1960, and I also organized many trips and exchanges from schools in Sheffield in the 80s, when many of our parents were in danger of losing their jobs. I made an effort to find school trips to the two countries that would cost very little, and then to encourage the students to do exchanges, from which they benefited enormously, both personally and linguistically.
All of this will be jeopardized if German and French schools no longer want to be linked to British schools for exchange purposes, and now look to Ireland for partners. Not only will this put our language learners at a disadvantage, because there is no better way to pSpeak fluently than spending time living as a family, but we as a country will be at a great disadvantage if we no longer have citizens who are fluent in a foreign language and experience living in another country. It was Helmut Schmidt who said: “We Germans speak very good English when we sell things to you, but we may not speak as fluently if you try to sell us things. We are already seeing universities downsizing their language departments. How can we claim to be "World Britain" if we are determined to make most of our people unilingual?