The UCML Winter Plenary 2022, entitled “The Year Abroad After Brexit”, took place via Zoom on 14 January 2022.

The Plenary was open to individuals affiliated with any of our member organisations.


09:45-10:00Log-on for Business Meeting
10:00-12:00UCML Business Meeting
12:00-13:00Lunch break
13:00-14:30Adapting to the New Normal
14:30-15:00Comfort break
15:00-16:30The Year Abroad After Brexit: Roundtable Discussion

The morning (10.00 – 12.00) consisted of the UCML Business Meeting, open to members of all UCML member organisations (see membership).

The Business Meeting included reports from members of the UCML Steering Group, representatives of the three nations, and the representative for Early-Career Academics.


**The afternoon workshops were recorded and can be viewed here**

Session 1: Adapting to the New Normal

This session reflected on the ways existing schemes/stakeholders have adapted to the changes brought about by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and from Erasmus+. The session included presentations from the following individuals followed by an open Q&A:

British Council Assistantships (Tom Dearing, British Council)

Study Abroad Offices (Sarah Leach, York, and Greg Miller & Ben Oldham, Leeds)

Policy (Griff Ryan, Universities UK international)

Session 2: The Year Abroad After Brexit: Roundtable Discussion

Prof. Charles Forsdick, Prof. Nigel Harkness, Sarah Leach, Prof. David Clarke

Respondent: Baroness Garden of Frognal

Speaker Biographies

David Clarke is Professor of Modern Studies and Head of the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University. He previously taught at University of Bath and Nottingham Trent University. His research focuses on the culture and politics of memory in Germany and beyond.

Tom Dearing is a Senior Consultant at the British Council. He is Head of the Language Assistants Programme for the UK, which is a large international mobility programme sending 2000+ people overseas each year to 15 territories to teach English, and placing 500 incoming participants into UK schools, colleges and universities.

Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. He has published widely on exoticism, travel writing, colonial history, postcolonial literature, comics, penal culture and the afterlives of slavery. Recent publications include the coauthored Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (Pluto, 2017) and a series of co-edited collections: The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2016), Keywords for Travel Writing Studies (Anthem Press, 2019), Georges Perec’s Geographies: Material, Performative and Textual Spaces (UCL Press, 2019) and Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in Modern France (Liverpool University Press, 2020). From 2012-20, he was leadership fellow for the AHRC theme ‘Translating Cultures’. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the Academy of Europe.

Baroness Garden of Frognal is a Liberal Democrat life peer and is Vice Chair of the APPG on Modern Languages. She is a former Government Whip and Spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Higher Education) and the Department for Education. She is an MFL graduate (French and Spanish) from Oxford University and a former teacher.

Nigel Harkness is Professor of French and Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Newcastle University. He has published widely on nineteenth-century French literature and culture, in particular the work of George Sand. He is also the current Chair of the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement Review Panel for Languages, Cultures and Societies.

Sarah Leach has led the development of the University of York’s student and staff international mobility programmes since joining the University in 2005. She works closely with the heads of academic departments and professional support services to promote international mobility and enhance the student experience and employability. She is heavily involved in national sector initiatives and organisations, currently holding the Chair of the UUKi Outward Student Mobility network, and has presented at a range of international education events in the UK and abroad.

Greg Miller is Deputy Director of Student Opportunity at the University of Leeds. He is the strategic lead for areas which includes Global Opportunities, Work Placement, Employer Engagement, the Careers Service and Student Enterprise. The University of Leeds has a high volume compulsory and optional study abroad programme with over 300 international partners supporting over 1,000 students to undertake a full year overseas.

Ben Oldham is the Deputy Head of Student Placements (Global Opportunities) at University of Leeds. His department manages the University’s portfolio of Global Opportunities, including the Residence Abroad programme which is an integral part of the language curriculum at Leeds. Ben’s teams also lead on the Brexit and pandemic contingency planning and mitigation activities as well as leading on the delivery of the Turing programme at Leeds.

Griff Ryan is a Policy Advisor on global mobility at Universities UK International, working as part of UUKi’s Transnational education (TNE) team.

Pre-Meeting Documents

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