How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

Ms Theresa MAY, UK Prime Minister.
Location: Bruxelles – BELGIUM
Date: 09/03/2017
Copyright: European Union

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Minhajul Abedin. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect The European Sting’s view on the topic.

The representative organisation for the United Kingdom’s universities has calculated that between 2012 and 2013, EU citizens comprised about 5.5 percent of the total UK student population, contributing £3.7 billion in the form of fees, accommodation and taxes to the British economy and providing 34,000 jobs – the number has steadily increased ever since. In the longer term, it seems likely that EU students will have to pay higher fee rates that currently apply to those from outside of the EU.

However, those looking on the brighter side have pointed out that the pound’s fall in value, if sustained, will continue to make studying in the UK more affordable for all international students. Additionally, in October 2016, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced several consultations on student visas, in the context of a series of strategies to reduce overall immigration numbers. She outlined a possible two-tier system, in which “tougher rules” would apply to students enrolling in “lower quality courses”.

There could also be more widespread changes to the current student visa system, affecting all international students. As hinted by the Prime Minister in her address to dignitaries and journalists at the Lancaster House, a ‘hard’ Brexit is highly anticipated at least in some facets of the potential deals. This may cut off the free movement of people completely. For starters, students from the EU may be subjected to work restrictions, and they may also have to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visas and the system of work permits might fly into action. Students from the European Union may no longer enjoy fee reductions, consequently pulling down the influx of EU students.

More than 100 universities and other organisations have so far joined the #WeAreInternational campaign, which aims to ensure Brexit does not result in fewer international students and academics coming to the UK. In addition, Britain’s access to the European Union’s flagship student mobility programme, Erasmus+, will be dramatically affected once Brexit happens, presumably in Spring 2019.

Erasmus+ has benefited 85,000 UK students on study and work placements, and staff too can take up exchange opportunities. The government says participation after Brexit ‘depends on negotiations’. Meanwhile, the UK already seems less attractive post-referendum. The elite Russell Group universities are concerned about falling applications from EU students. Cambridge reports a 17% drop in EU applications for 2017 and is planning for two thirds fall thereafter.

Many institutions fear a loss of access to talent in recruitment. There are reports of British universities struggling to attract European Economic Area (EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) applicants to teaching and research posts, and a University College Union survey says 42% of staff is considering leaving the UK, many fearing cuts in research funding. Almost half said they had colleagues who had already lost out on funding bids. Other EU member states may attract academics outside of the UK, especially concerning EU nationals which currently account to 13.6 percent of senior lecturers in Great Britain.

Brexit sends a negative message not just to 27 EU partners, but to the entire world. Lord Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra beer, has attacked the government’s failure to remove students from net migration figures. He urged the Vice Chancellors’ group Universities UK (UUK) to insist on free movement for students and working visas for non-EEA graduates, as happens in most of Europe, and in Canada, Australia and the USA. Worryingly, the Higher Education Policy Institute reports Home Office plans to place fresh restrictions on overseas students, which it claims could cost the UK £2bn a year.

However, we are not taking into consideration the positive effects of Brexit concerning other aspects such as Security, Law and Jurisdictions. After London and Manchester suffered what were the worst terrorist attacks on British soil since 2005, populist leaders across the Union are pointing at unrestricted immigration as a contributing factor to terrorism, favouring in fact high restriction on the movement of people that will as well influence international students.

About the author

Md. Minhajul Abedin is currently an International and Business Development Consultant at Westminster Business Consultants (WBC) based in London. He is a recipient of the Westminster International Scholarship and his experience includes some working at the United States Department of State, AFS-USA and iEARN-BD. 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

No great discovery was made without a bold guess – Isaac Newton

Ocean life faces ‘onslaught of threats’ from human activity, but tools exist to save it

How technology is driving a fourth wave of environmentalism

Sweden is fighting loneliness by housing older and younger generations together

Japan must urgently address long-standing concerns over foreign bribery enforcement

EU@UNGA 74: Working towards a more peaceful, secure and prosperous world

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

INTERVIEW: Advancing human rights, a ‘never ending process’ says new UN rights chief

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

How has policy affected employment in small businesses in the US?

Young people demand a transparent job market: new campaign launches on international interns day

Brexit: Is there anybody supporting a non-violent separation?

Spring 2019 Standard Eurobarometer: Europeans upbeat about the state of the European Union – best results in 5 years

Mental health in the times of coronavirus

Juncker’s Investment Plan in desperate need for trust and funds from public and private investors

Parliament gives green light to EU-Singapore trade and investment protection deals

COVID-19 will hit the developing world’s cities hardest. Here’s why

Countering illegal hate speech online – EU Code of Conduct ensures swift response

Syrian Refugees in Germany face distinctly different challenges than those in Lebanon

Somalia: UN congratulates Puntland region’s newly-elected President

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

FROM THE FIELD: Hardy seeds bear fruit to protect Colombia’s environment

UN health agency welcomes Facebook pledge to stop vaccine misinformation from going viral

European Elections: “Web giants” are urging users to vote

Huge areas of the Arctic are on fire – here’s what that means for the planet

Commission presents first reflections on building a strong social Europe for just transitions

Hostilities in Syria’s southwest, mean cuts in vital aid across Jordanian border: Senior UN official

These 4 skills can make the world better after COVID-19

3 leaders on creating a pipeline for female talent in business

Commission deepens criticism on German economic policies

EU deserves the title of the Syrian affair merchandiser

Erdogan’s electoral win on a ‘me or chaos’ dilemma means trouble for everybody

This is what happens when a school swaps french fries for quinoa

Who is to pay for Trump’s trade war against China?

COVID-19: MEPs urge quick action to prevent “huge recession”

Turkey to let EU alone struggle with the migrant crisis while enhancing its economic ties with Russia instead?

Universal Health Coverage in the EU: Are we really leaving no one behind?

Topic: Mental Health in times of pandemic: What can each individual do to lessen the burden?

Antitrust: Aspen proposes 73% price reduction for six off-patent cancer medicines to remove Commission’s excessive pricing concerns

Trump declares emergency and WHO urges speed – latest coronavirus updates

It’s ‘time for concrete action’ says UN chief, welcoming inter-Korean agreement

European Commission launches global coalition for biodiversity

Coronavirus: 23 new research projects to receive €128 million in EU funding

Climate change: won or lost in cities or by cities?

Ending extreme poverty crucial to sustainable future for all: UN chief

How Japan and Singapore are reinventing old age

Simple Technology Saving Lives: Remote Auscultation

A Sting Exclusive: Towards better business opportunities for the EU and its neighbours, Commissioner Hahn live from European Business Summit 2015

UN chief welcomes South Sudan’s Unity government, lauds parties for ‘significant achievement’

Spring 2020 Economic Forecast: A deep and uneven recession, an uncertain recovery

Migration: Commission steps up emergency assistance to Spain and Greece

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

Protecting Health Workers’ Safety Around the World

Human traffickers in Libya are posing as UN staff, says Refugee Agency

“If the job market doesn’t exist, then even the most brilliant Youth Guarantee cannot ensure a job to these young people”, European Youth Forum Secretary General Giuseppe Porcaro on another Sting Exclusive

A new generation of women leaders is making waves in the Arab world

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

EU and China seize momentum to enhance trade agreements in response to Trump’s administration

Businesses succeed internationally

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s