Is Higher Education neglected in EU exit debate?
The growing number of Eurosceptics is threatening the UK government’s intentions to fight the challenge of the UK Independence Party in obtaining the significant number of voters supporting the UK’s EU exit. Naturally, there has been a spate of responses on the possible consequences of the sovereign archipelago’s departure such as Ben Chu’s analysis. It overlooked the impact of such an event on Higher Education both here in Britain and in the European Union.
Being a languages student, I am conscious of the threat to the success of programmes from which British students benefit such as the Erasmus Programme, which allows students to study in EU countries. Yet again here comes a contradictory twist as more British students decide to study abroad since the University fees rise. In that case, it m ight be fair for students to claim that the government is out to get them by restricting their possibilities. All of the benefits of being an EU citizen in terms of higher education are placed in jeopardy.
Another blow to the economy will be the decline in the number of international students coming to Britain. In 2005 Britain was the EU country with the highest number of university students Thus to the quality of education in the UK, which is at the forefront of research and teaching, that is often referred to as a model of the European Institutions. However, Germany overtook us in 2010 by having the most number of students studying in tertiary; how much would this affect their EU membership if they separate from England. A BBC news article reveals that the English Higher Education system is beginning to discourage international students who instead choose to study in Scotland.
In the wider scheme when public deficits run high, independence is thought to be at risk and the currency failing, the odds look bleak for a British presence in the EU. Evidently, these failures were a result from a distinct absence of integrity to promises made and limits imposed within the EU. This alliance would do well to persevere with another of these promises as signed in the Bologna Declaration of 1999 before it is too late.
Europhiles might well take a lesson from Blair, as the retort fatal to Eurosceptics shall be ‘education, education and education’.Tagged in: eu, eurosceptics, Higher Education, uk, UK Independence Party
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