The Effect of Brexit on British Education Systems, Benefits and Challenge
The British education system is one of the most excellent and prestigious in the world. Parents and guardians from all corners of the earth have had no problem paying for their children the high fees some of the best British institutions of higher learning charge. Everything was all right until Brexit happened. The move by Britons to vote to exit the European Union was a decision that no doubt has had certain effects that have resonated in the United Kingdom and beyond. The exiting process is expected to be finalized by spring of 2019. You want to know the effect of Brexit on British education systems, benefits and challenges, right? Read on
Effect of brexit on British education: increased fees
One of the most important ways Brexit has affected the British education systems is that it is, unintentionally, discouraging learners from other countries from joining U.K. universities. You already know that the tuition fees some U.K. colleges charge are some of the highest worldwide, already. Pre-Brexit U.K. had everyone from the European Union paying the same amount of tuition fees British students paid to get an excellent education.
Things are changing, though. Some colleges have already included a note in the tuition fees pages of their websites informing existing students across the vast EU region that they cannot predict the fees payable come 2019.
It is this unpredictability that has had some learners abandon their dreams of earning degrees from U.K. universities. When Brexit completes its course tentatively next year, EU learners will start paying the same amount of fees applicable to international students.
Effect of brexit on British education: restricted movement
Debate rages on among U.K. politicians as to whether EU residents will continue enjoying the current freedom of movement in the country. If they decide to curtail this freedom, people originating from the EU will find it hard to gain entry into the country and consequently its education system. Currently, approximately six percent of the learners in the U.K. comes from the EU. British campuses have contemplated what the effect of the eventual exit of these students will be.
As British degrees become more challenging to access, small colleges in most of the remote and less attractive cities will suffer most. The exit of these international students means the exit of much-needed tuition fees. In fact, a recent study revealed that foreign learners spend about 86 billion pounds while studying in the U.K. While economists are yet to figure out how this will impact the British education system, it is safe to say the system will suffer in some way. Most of these students will most probably join universities in Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Scotland among other colleges that teach degrees in English.
That said, those who come from wealthy families are unlikely to be deterred by the higher fees and stricter Visa rules. For some international residents, earning a British degree has become a family tradition, and it is likely that these challenges will cause them to abandon such valued traditions.
Effect of brexit on British education: funding and scholarships
Apart from the economic impacts felt, there are other challenges the British education faces. One of these problems relates to the question of access to funding from the EU. Many British universities have benefited from EU funds which they have used to build laboratories and lecture theatres. Some schools in the U.K. have been funded by the EU up to 15 percent of their overall budgets, and Brexit means they will need to look for alternative funding.
One could argue that these colleges will receive funding from the U.K government. While this will most likely happen, it might be a challenging task for a country whose current research budget is below the international average.
Additionally, Brexit affects staffing at British universities. Fifteen percent of the research and teaching staff come from the EU. The Erasmus scheme has had 200,000 British students and 20,000 university staff study and work in European universities. Will all this come to an end with Brexit? It is a wait-and-see situation here.
Positive Effect of Brexit on British Education
Increased British government funding to UK instititions
Brexit is not without some benefits. It is highly likely that the British higher education industry will continue to thrive despite Brexit. The government is already aware of the need to step in and extend a helping hand for the advancement of science and research. If the government provides substantial support to the British education system, U.K. universities might end up far much stronger than they could ever have become pre-Brexit. Universities in this country have established high standards of excellence in education and research, and the government will want to do whatever it takes to ensure this trend continues.
Enhanced fees collection
Secondly, British universities attract a vast number of international students. Higher tuition fees and stricter Visa regulations might dissuade a number of these aspiring learners to enrol in British programs. Ordinarily lower student numbers would mean reduced fees for the universities and colleges, but then the institutions will be charging more. Considering that a significant number of international students will still want to get a British degree, the net effect could end up being that the universities collect more tuition fees than they used to during the pre-Brexit days.
Attract and retain talent and best brains in the UK
The new Visa rules, while seemingly stricter, operate under a points-based system which the most qualified people from the rest of the world would find rational. The new rules not only favours well-qualified Master’s and PhD students from other parts of the world but it also eases the rights of those currently well-qualified to remain and continue working in the United Kingdom. A point-based Visa system is the best way to attract and retain the most brilliant brains from all over the world, as opposed to mainly the EU, as is currently the case.
Undoubtedly, Brexit has been impactful in the British education system. From reduced student numbers and EU faculty talent to discontinuation of research funds from the EU, the effects and challenges are evident. Leaving the EU, however, brings certain benefits that become apparent on a closer analysis of the impact Brexit will have on the British education system. It is highly unlikely that the value of a U.K. degree will diminish. If you have been thinking of studying a degree program in that country, there is no reason you should halt your plans. The burning desire to become a highly sought-after graduate will see you through any current challenges.
About the Author
Alan is an expert MBA dissertation writer he is currently researching on the impact of Brexit on various aspects of lives both to British and international citizens. He also contributed in writing economics case study on Brexit that was published on this blog.