What could be the effect of Brexit on the UK Education market?
It's now 10 weeks since the historic EU referendum that sealed Britain’s exit from the EU. While the actual exit is still over two years away, the reality of the situation is certainly hitting home and many questions are being asked about the new world we find ourselves in.
For younger generations who have never known life outside the EU, and for both those studying abroad and for EU students in the UK, the most pressing issue is this: what could be the effect of Brexit on the UK education market and how much is likely to change?
Further education and the EU – The current situation
At the moment there are over 120,000 EU students across the UK, equating to more than 6% of all full-time students in Britain’s universities. This generates over £3 billion for the UK’s economy as well as nearly 20,000 jobs. This level of integration encourages cohesion and diversity in university campuses, both of which are invaluable learning tools.
Over the last few years, an increasing number of British students have chosen to study in other European countries to avoid the whopping British tuition fees and enhance their learning experience. In Maastrict University, Netherlands, students pay just £1,600 in tuition fees per year compared to the UK’s £9,000. Current EU laws make this not only possible, but encouraged and relatively straightforward.
The EU has also invested significant sums of money into British universities, funding projects such as Swansea University’s new innovation centre as well as considerable amounts of funding towards research. Over the last ten years, the UK received nearly £8 billion in research funding from both the European Commission and the European Research Council.