With notorious Brexit going on, the United Kingdom's situation has become a real precedent in the European Union. Even though the right to leave the union was granted to every state entering it, EU policymakers naively hoped there would be no one willing to leave the prosperous entity.
Being the first, Great Britain faces a lot of bureaucratic problems as well as many challenges along the way to its so-called independence from the EU. The biggest concern for the country is to leave the union with minimal losses. Since the UK has been enjoying free movement of goods, people, and other benefits provided to the EU members, going separate ways may affect both social and economic connections with the states. Most importantly, the UK does not want to lose favorable trade relations that ensured its sustainable development. Also, today, British citizens have a right to be employed by any other European country, avoiding bureaucracy. Losing such a privilege can negatively affect the UK labor market. However, there are other Brexit-related issues people should be aware of.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the challenges Brexit imposes on the UK education system. It is particularly interesting to observe what impact political processes will have on long-standing connections and the prestige of British universities and colleges.
Financial Aid and Tuition Fees
Obviously, what students are most concerned about is money. Studying in UK universities and colleges cost a lot. Tuition fees for a year may reach dozens of thousands of pounds, with only a small percentage of families being ready to fund these amounts from their savings.
EU students who received grants and financial aid either from their governments or from private British organizations became naturally worried about their status in the educational institutions. Such amounts cannot be earned or saved by living on the budget and minimizing the use of assistance essay writing services like https://essaypro.com/. Also, you should check all your works through a free plagiarism checker in the UK. For many, losing a scholarship would mean missing a chance to get a diploma.
This limbo lasted for about a year since the vote had taken place. In April 2017, the officials announced that the agreement had been reached. The students currently studying and receiving loans, grants, and scholarships would be eligible to enjoy the same benefits for years to come. Moreover, those who only intend to commence their learning could still apply for financial aid under the same eligibility criteria.
Since Brexit is a precedent, the entire procedure, and its finalization may take years that will be enough for students to get their diplomas. However, judging by how long it takes to make a decision on Brexit for the UK and EU authorities, there can still be some unexpected effects on the financial aspects of education.
As we have mentioned earlier, immigration and a free movement of people are central to the Brexit debate. Thus, it is likely that students may need to follow new regulations in this field. If new agreements are made, all young people willing to study or currently studying in the UK will need to apply for a student visa or a short-term study visa to continue their stay.
With the UK's dedication to decreasing overall immigration numbers, it is likely that, together with Brexit or immediately after this, the entire immigration control system will be altered. This may affect not only learners traveling from EU countries for studies, but other international students who currently hold legal status.
Those students who travel to attend short-time courses may be checked more carefully. The stricter rules will be introduced because short-term education is one of the channels of illegal immigration to the country. Students whose intention is to study for a bachelor's or master's diploma will have no problems with getting their visas. Obviously, provided that they submit all needed documentation.
Teachers and the End to Freedom of Movement
Many EU teachers traveled to the UK in search of better work conditions and higher salaries and vice versa. With the freedom of movement in place, they enjoyed the so-called bilateral double taxation. It allowed them to pay tax only once instead of doing it twice in the country of work and the state of residence.
Teachers are now concerned that if no agreement is reached in this field, they will have to return to their countries of residence. Such a situation may cause an educational crisis in the UK and Europe as a whole. Britain will suffer the most as it heavily relies on teachers from EU member states after years of fruitful cooperation.
Teaching Qualifications and University Recognition
Other critical issues related to teaching are mutual recognition of diplomas and teaching qualifications. As of now, professional teaching qualifications are recognized across the EU. Basically, as a teacher, you can have a French diploma but apply for a job in Italy, Britain, or the Netherlands. However, the process of recognition is a continued one.
Despite all its attempts towards leaving the E.U., Britain has expressed its hope that teaching qualification recognition can continue at least up to December 2020. At the same time, it is crucial that Europe continues to recognize degrees gained in UK universities. Students whose diplomas were received in EU member states will also be welcome in any workplace in Britain.
Moreover, as for the teachers' rights at work, they will be equal to UK nationals as well as for EU nationals. Anticipating a teacher shortage after Brexit, the UK government has expressed an idea of promoting recruitment opportunities for teachers from EU member states. The conditions seem even better than those that currently exist.
United Europe has one of the most recognized joint educational programs in the world. Erasmus program has already benefited several thousand students across the globe. It provided them with an opportunity to study in different universities in Europe. The UK has been actively involved in Erasmus, with Brexit leaving it in limbo as well.
However, as the government confirmed it, the UK will be staying in the Erasmus program regardless of its EU membership. The provisions of the Brexit deal and the Withdrawal Agreement will not affect the country's participation in this educational program.
United Europe has made it easier for students to travel in the framework of a school program. UK citizens have been able to travel to Europe freely since 1975. If no deal is reached concerning freedom of movement with EU member states, the British may end up requiring a visa to enter the neighboring countries. Given the difficulty of student trips requiring visas, UK schools, colleges, and universities may reject this practice. Low mobility of students may negatively affect the country's development.
At the same time, it can also have an adverse effect on student exchange programs. As of now, the British can go to Europe with no need to declare the purpose of their prolonged stay. In the future, student exchange programs will require more bureaucratic procedures.
One of the most significant advantages of the EU joint educational space was the ability of researchers coming from different countries to participate in joint studies. In such a case, any breakthrough achieved as a result of collective efforts was attributed to EU ownership.
When Brexit comes into effect, all joint research projects with outstanding results led by scientists from the UK and EU member states may face a problem of origin and attribution. Needless to say, the EU, as well as the UK, is interested in growing its scientific importance. Thus, to avoid such problems, the number of joint UK – EU pieces of research will soon decrease. It will badly affect the prospects of European research and development unless an agreement is reached in this field as well.
Unfortunately, many questions concerning the future of EU–UK relations that arise from the Brexit issue are hard to answer. The government tries to provide some guarantees to students and teachers. Still, the final accord will be made when the Withdrawal agreement is finally completed and agreed upon.
For now, students receiving financial aid may continue their education. The teachers may enjoy further recognition of their qualifications. Erasmus program will also continue regardless of any decisions made in the political field. All other questions related to taxation, freedom of movement, joint research programs, etc. still remain unanswered.
The only thing students and professors are left with is monitoring the situation. They need to track all changes and propositions submitted by policymakers. The process of leaving the EU cannot be absolutely painless. However, let's just hope that it will be as mild as possible.