Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, there has been a lot of talk over what it could mean for young people. Many have criticised the government for not giving 16-17-year-olds the vote, claiming that allowing them to do so could have changed the fate of the referendum. However, the decision of the 17,410,742 Brexitiers is final, and the United Kingdom will begin to make stead towards leaving the Union over the coming months.
Because the Brexit result is still so recent, and with political turmoil continuing (both Prime Minister David Cameron and UKIP leader Nigel Farage have announced they will step down), there is very little concrete information on what Brexit will really mean for students – the majority is speculation. However, we have rounded up the information we have so far so you can prepare for the changes.
How Will UK Students Be Affected?
Leaving the European Union means that there could be no more free movement to other EU countries, so it is likely that UK students will have to apply for a Visa if they want to work or study in European countries. Over 15,000 UK students studied in the EU in the 2013-14 academic year as part of the Eramus Programme, but the future of this scheme is no longer guaranteed, with heads saying “you may have to be patient as definitive answers on the programme’s future may take time”.
How Will International Students Be Affected?
European students are more likely to be affected by Brexit than UK students if they choose to study here. According to The Telegraph, there are currently over 125,000 EU students studying in the UK, as well as 43,000 European University staff, so there are clearly large numbers of Europeans who want to work and study at our Universities.
New research conducted by Universities UK shows that students from EU countries generate £3.7billion to the UK economy and support nearly 380,000 jobs. The result of Brexit means that many European students may decide against the UK, as they will become international students. This means fees are likely to rise, and the opportunities for grants and scholarships cut.
However, at present, EU students have nothing to worry about. The government has confirmed that European students will continue to receive their loans and grants for the duration of their study, so won’t be affected by Brexit. However, moving forward, the outlook isn’t so positive.
What Can You Do To Make a Change?
For the millions of UK and European students who aren’t happy about the result of the referendum, or concerned about what Brexit will mean for them, the best way to make a change is to speak up.
For example, David Icke recently released an “Old Doesn’t Mean Stupid And Young Doesn’t Mean Know It All” podcast that is making waves online, with hundreds of comments discussing the result of Brexit and what it will mean for young people. By engaging in conversation, arguing your points and asking important questions, you will be able to work out exactly how you will be affected, and potentially pave the way for change in our nation, which will operate without the European Union.