As we all know, Britain voted for and agreed to exit the European Union (EU). This calls for a lot of changes in the economy, positive or negative, it is still unknown. The economic stability in under the scanner and so is the equation with the EU. Higher education is a dominating industry in the UK with its prestigious universities lined up to offer admissions to students from all over the world, especially from India. The questions now are,
• Will studies get cheaper?
• Will the norms be more stringent for intake of international students?
• Will VISA laws change?
• Will employment opportunities affect international graduates?
• How will Brexit affect the currently studying Indian students in the UK?
There is some speculation of the stock market that the value of pound sterling might decline which might reverse the trend of students migrating to UK in the future than Australia or the United States. Though this effect is still unclear now or might not reflect immediately, in a year’s time or two, there will be a significant effect on the cost in higher studies for Indian students.
Students aspiring to apply for undergraduate and postgraduate programs for the years 2017 and ’18 will have advantages of cost and tuition fees due to the depreciation of the pound.
However, there are a number of formalities and negotiations that are allocated for two years over the exit of UK according to the Universities Minister that will finally decide the stability of UK’s economy and its value. It is said that although there might not be a direct impact on the cost for international students, there are various other factors that will contribute to the decline in cost of study.
On the other hand, if universities get an impact after Brexit due to funding or lack of EU students applying for admissions, they might increase the fees for international students to compensate for the deficit.
For the second question, if UK decides to treat EU students as international, then there might be restrictions on the number of international students who can secure a seat at a UK university.
It is also speculated that the visa restrictions and the post study work visa rules may become relaxed due to decrease in flow of EU students into UK.
As for the employment opportunities, it really depends on the economy which is currently still under negotiations and the status is still unknown. Moreover, it is known that only a little is expected to change in the market before two years.
However there is an advice given by economists to Indian students.
“Do not make any hasty decisions or change your study plans before it is clear what agreement the UK will make with the EU. Aside from the impact on the market, little is expected to change before the two years for negotiation is up. While it is possible that there are big changes ahead with respect to tuition fees, research funding, visa restrictions, work opportunities and free movement across Europe, no one currently knows what form this will take or what the impact will be.”
Even though there are healthy speculations for Indian students relating to admissions, tuition fees, cost of living, and visa rules and so on, there are two years allocated for negotiations to come to a conclusion about the country’s rules and economy and students are advised to remain patient till confirmation.
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Amit Singh, Vijay Krishnan Jagannathan
Team – iae GLOBAL INDIA