It has been over a year since the EU's historic referendum that sealed the UK's exit from the EU. While there is still time for real output, the reality of the situation is certainly coming and language students are asking many questions about the new roll between the UK and Europe. For younger generations who have never known life outside the EU, and for both those who study abroad and for EU students in the UK, the most pressing problem is this: what could be the effect of Brexit in the UK education market and how much is it likely to change?
The current situation of higher education in the UK, there are currently more than 120,000 EU students in the whole UK, which is equivalent to more than 6% of all full-time students in the Universities of Great Britain. This generates more than £ 3 billion for the UK economy, as well as almost 20,000 jobs. This level of integration fosters cohesion and diversity on university campuses, which are valuable learning tools.
In recent years more and more British students choose to study in other European countries to avoid rising British tuition fees and improve their learning experience. We have an example in Maastrict University, (Netherlands) where students pay only £ 1,600 in Fees per year compared to £ 9,000 in the United Kingdom. The current laws of the EU make this not only possible, but also positive and encouraging.
The EU has also invested significant amounts of money in British Universities, funding projects such as Swansea University's new innovation center, as well as a considerable amount of funds for research. In the last ten years, the United Kingdom received almost £ 8 billion in research funds from both the European Commission and the European Research Council.
How can Brexit affect higher education?
Older people worry that Brexit may cause a significant reduction in the number of students across Europe who choose to come to the UK to receive more education. Once Britain officially leaves the EU, tuition fees may increase as EU students could be treated as international students. This, together with a more complex visa process, is likely to cause a drop in student circulation.
This applies both ways. UK students who try to avoid high tuition fees and choose to study in other European countries may find that their tuition costs increase once they leave the EU. The visa process will become more complicated and less attractive for students seeking the opportunity to live abroad and experience other cultures while studying.
Brexit and the Erasmus program
The Erasmus program is a student exchange program that provides funds for students who wish to study in Europe as part of their career. Funded by the EU, Erasmus has been running for more than 25 years and at that time more than 200,000 British students have benefited from the excellent opportunities it offers.
The Erasmus program has transformed the educational experience of thousands of students by living and studying in another country, students can embrace other cultures, acquire essential skills for life and really understand the importance of integration. Over the years, the Erasmus program has enriched many lives to the point that 25% of Erasmus students have found a partner studying abroad and consequently more than 1 million Erasmus babies born to date!
The cultural and educational enrichment of the Erasmus program has been so significant that many experts are deeply concerned about what the future holds after Brexit. Once Britain leaves the EU, the access that British students could have to this program seems very uncertain. Great Britain could face the exclusion of this scheme altogether, although students currently using the program are not at risk and there is some hope that the Erasmus program can be maintained as part of the EU negotiations.
The good news
While the rules of granting visas may seem suddenly more complex for EU students, once the UK leaves the EU, international students may find that the new point-based system makes access to Universities of the United Kingdom is more direct.
The Universities of the United Kingdom are a great attraction for