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Universities UK International (UUKi), the international section of the UK rectors’ conference, and Mitacs Canada have established a new partnership which will allow UK undergraduate students to complete 12-week research internships in different universities in Canada. The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship scheme offers internships at more than 45 Canadian universities and in various academic disciplines - from science and engineering to humanities and social sciences. The other partner countries which are already taking part in the scheme are Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Mexico, Tunisia and Ukraine.
According to UUKi, the new opportunity will contribute to doubling the number of undergraduates gaining international experience during their studies by 2020, in the framework of the wider-UUKi Go International: Stand Out campaign, and will enable UK institutions to foster relations and develop new links with Canadian universities. The scheme will receive two thirds of the funds from Mitacs and one third from UK institutions or the UK Department for Education. UUKi has recently invited UK universities to submit expressions of interest to co-fund 10 additional places for students from different backgrounds to start an internship in the summer of 2020. The UK government and Canadian government will co-fund up to 10 internships in 2019/20 and up to 20 in 2020/21, specifically for students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.
With ever-growing uncertainties over Brexit and fears of a no-deal scenario, the UK government is “considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including a potential domestic alternative to the Erasmus+ Programme”, as declared by the Universities Minister, Chris Skidmore, during the British Council's Going Global conference on 13 May 2019 in Berlin.