I know that nothing is certain about the impacts of Brexit on our children’s futures, and I totally get that nothing I say right now is going to get me answers but with Miss Frugal especially approaching the age where she’ll be considering university, it’s something that’s playing on my mind right now.
Nobody can deny that the issue of Britain leaving the EU has been a divisive one in global politics – friendships have been lost, arguments have been had and some very strong views were aired, sometimes inappropriately in my eyes. Ultimately though, I believe in free speech and democracy so regardless of where I stand on Brexit, I accept that Article 50 has been invoked and Britain will be making its exit from the union at some point around 2019.
This is just a year or two before Miss Frugal will hopefully be starting university so naturally, I’m concerned at how it will affect her. If the news is to be believed then it would seem that students have been among those most disappointed by the idea of a future without free living and working in other European countries. It makes me sad that Miss Frugal might not get some of the wonderful opportunities that I had because of a political decision and I sincerely hope that she doesn’t miss out.
Brexit And Students
The vote in the UK General Election earlier this year saw the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn trying to appeal to younger voters and those in academia by proposing free university education and possibly even forgiving existent student loans. He didn’t win the election, however the support he had showed that a lot of people were in favour of these plans, myself included although I know I’m heavily biased based on the fact that I have two children rapidly approaching university age. I even just read while I was researching this post that some students allegedly voted twice in order to try and make their voices heard.
It makes me sad that, at present, attending university is much more expensive in the UK than in other EU member states, some of which subsidise education far beyond the age of 18, where UK funding ends for young people.
Students are angry that they will have to continue to pay for their university fees following the results of the General Election but that’s not all they have to be angry about in the wake of Brexit. They’re unhappy at the potential changes to their chance of international studies. At the moment, people from the UK can live and work wherever they like in the EU without needing to apply for permits or visas which makes studying abroad much easier with the lack of red tape involved but post-brexit it looks as though this will change making it harder. Students who wanted to spend some of their course in other countries or work in European countries after their degrees can no longer be assured of doing this easily.
Will University Funding Be Affected?
Of course, universities don’t just teach people, they also research important things, and the effect of Brexit on their funding may well be quite important. Students and teachers in all kinds of subjects may well look into things like how to trade forex, as the issues of global currency relationships become more prominent. We don’t really know how Brexit will affect what slice of the pie British universities get when it comes to funding, but we do know that Britain will want to establish itself anew as a powerhouse in fields like engineering and medical research. While universities will lose EU funding, it could well be that the UK government ploughs more money into research in certain fields as a way of helping Britain move forward.
We can’t really say yet what impact Brexit will have on any industry, and so we can’t really know how students and universities will be affected. However, it is clear that the current generation of students has some strong concerns about how Brexit may impact their own study choices and longer term options for work. Whether funding will be affected for current university study is also unknown, but while some programs may lose money due to the UK losing EU support, Britain itself is likely to put a lot of funding and support into fields like medicine, science and engineering.
It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out for UK universities as Brexit continues to run its course – I just hope it doesn’t have a negative impact on my children’s education.
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