How Does Brexit Affect Students?

Written by Daniel Soloye For decades, British students, graduates and working professionals have enjoyed the freedom and fluidity of Europe, in context of employment and educational opportunities as well as other frivolous privileges including healthcare and mobility. However, after today’s shocking verdict that ultimately sees the United Kingdom leave the European Union, we are left to evaluate the potential impact Brexit has on British students. Read Also: 7 CV formatting tips that will get you more interviews Impact on Student Mobility Britain’s previous EU membership ensured that citizens were able to live and work anywhere within the 28 countries of the EU. Subsequently, the terrains in which British students can work and travel in European countries may become rigorous, requiring visas that could significantly impact the chances of acquiring foreign job opportunities. Sorana Vieru, the vice president of the NUS, has adhered to the notion that the leaving the EU would severely limit the amount of job opportunities for young people in Britain today. In her acknowledgement, Vieru stated:

 “Freedom of movement across the EU currently means young people have a wider pool of graduate jobs to choose from, as more and more organisations work across Europe or specific targeted industries graduates find attractive are booming in other EU countries,”
She continued by stating:
“Restricting freedom of movement means finding a job abroad becomes much harder for young people.”
Impact on Employment As it is still early, the impact on employment is heavily dependent on Brexit’s economic performance. If in the scenario that Britain’s economy performs well as proclaimed by many, then we can expect more professional opportunities for students and graduates undoubtedly. However, if in the scenario that Brexit does prompt a recession, students and graduates will be emphatically on the receiving end. According to a study by PathMotion, approximately half of the country’s top graduate employers will be forced to reduce their graduate recruitment in-take with the banking, finance, retail, media, technology and law sector at the highest risk of downsizing. These sectors are collectively employing over 50,000 graduates each year with top firms expected to hire at least 5,500 graduates in 2016. The main reasons cited for downsizing are the impact on the economy and, therefore, on the volume of business, general uncertainty, and a lower talent pool of EU graduates applying for jobs. Impact on Higher Education As university admission fees sour at almost 3 times the rate in comparison to 2011, some students have responded by choosing to study abroad where prices are significantly cheaper, especially in destinations such as Germany or Netherlands. It’s noted that more than 200,000 UK students have studied and worked abroad through the Erasmus mobility programme whilst more than 125,000 EU students were enrolled in UK universities. Given the UK’s exit from the EU it’s safe to acknowledge that visas will become more difficult to obtain and fees may be more expensive. Sorana Vieru in another soliloquy noted that:
“I think we can safely assume that if we’re not part of the EU, we’ll be paying international student rates in Europe if those institutions charge them”
Mike Hill, CEO of Prospects also highlighted to potential impact of Brexit on universities across the country suggesting that:
“A Brexit will affect the ability of young people to work and learn in the EU. We will be slamming the door in the face of some of our most motivated and talented individuals,”.
The United Kingdom is entering a new era which may affect all of us in the foreseeable future. Whilst it may not be all doom and gloom with potentially more opportunities for British people, one thing is for certain, significant change is looming. We will have to wait and see what the future holds. Read Another Interesting Post: Five Ways You Are Killing Your Chances of Employment Sources: Telegraph, Pathmotion, All About Students, Prospects, NUS