Print Friendly, PDF & Email

di SOFIA GARZELLI


Abstract - L’IMPATTO DELL’USCITA DALL’UNIONE EUROPEA SULLE UNIVERSITÀ DEL REGNO UNITO INTERVISTA AL RETTORE DELLA BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL DI ST. GEORGE Britain's decision of leaving the European Union (EU) on the 31st of January 2021 will have several economic, social, academic and cultural impacts. In particular, students willing to access the worldclass institutions that the UK offers will encounter significant changes. These practical changes depend on when you arrive, for example; if you arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 and register for the EU Settlement Scheme there is not much that is going to change. However, if you arrive from 1 January 2021 onwards, there are going to be changes to the immigration status and to fee status depending on when your course starts. Brexit has also prompted concerns over employment prospects; EU highly-skilled graduates and postgraduates have a crucial role in UK’s economic growth. A decline in the number of EU students could have far-reaching implications on both higher education and on the wider community. An interview with the principal of St. Georges British International School in Rome, David Tongue will give an insight to the viewpoint a prestigious British International School operating in Italy on the impacts of Brexit. Summary: 1 Interview with principal of St.George's British International school David Tongue. 2 Outcome of the Brexit and practical changes for students willing to study in the UK. 3 Effect of Brexit on student’s future employment and the british educational system. 4 An insight to London School of Economics and Political Sciences student training. 1. interview with principal of st.george's british international school David tongue. How does the UK’s educational system differ from other tuitions in terms of providing a students with training to maximise opportunities for future employment? The thing that the British education system does really well is it focuses very much on holistic skills rather than just purely a body of knowledge so it really is designed to help students develop thinking skills, help students to develop an understanding of how they feel about things rather than just a knowledge base curriculum. Obviously there is a lot of knowledge within the curriculum that’s required but it’s a lot more about how you interpret the information, your views according to it and also developing holistic skills such as the ability to communicate well, the ability to public speak and all of those rich extra-curricular things outside the curriculum as well. I think that is the main differentiator between the British education and that found elsewhere. To what extent will the UK’s decision of exiting the EU have an impact on higher education? Will there be any consequences for UK universities? There are some consequences for EU nationals. So if you have an EU passport formally you would have benefitted from home student status so you would have paid the same university fees as a student from the UK. Now, at the moment, it looks like that’s not going to be the case, however lot’s of universities are offering really quite good deals for EU based students. So it doesn't look like the impact will be as great as first feared. However, generally it obviously may have changed people from the EU and how they feel towards Britain as being a welcoming, open society, which is a great shame because the UK people are very open and welcoming of people who aren’t from the UK. Ultimately this was a decision that was taken for a whole host of reasons and certainly people shouldn’t feel unwelcome. Certainly, for many, many years, EU students have travelled to the UK and really enjoyed studying there as there are some of the top universities in the world. There's lot’s of opportunities there so I wouldn't let that put you off from studying in the UK. What are your predicted implications for the UK if there were fewer EU students? For the UK, I mean ultimately, they have been attracting students from all around the world so one of the things that they’re looking to do is to increase the number of students coming from outside the EU, if the number from the EU has fallen. Interestingly, this year, applications from the EU are actually up, which has really surprised everyone so that’s something that maybe is a result from the pandemic with funneling applications into one year rather than two. That seems like a really interesting trend, but one of the things they’ve been doing for quite a while is looking to attract lot’s of students from Asia, for example, to come in and study. Ultimately they will loose the benefit of having people from Europe studying in their universities if they are not actively trying to attract and recruit them. As far as you know, are UK universities concerned by Brexit’s short term implications such as a possible reduction of European students? I believe so, yes. I believe so that’s certainly the message we hear from some universities; obviously they are grappling with the pandemic as well which is really impacting on them. So it’s one of a number of things that they are very concerned about at the moment. In your opinion, would it be appropriate for the UK government to provide funds towards European students willing to study in the UK, granting fees similar to those pre-Brexit? I think that would be hugely beneficial. Yes, I think that it is the situation that is existed up until this point, I think it would guarantee that diversity of people of student population at universities which is so important and really enriches the learning experience for students and I think it would be something really beneficial for them to consider. Of course there’s a lot of two way relations as well and it works both ways with UK based students studying in universities in the European Union and I think if there are falling numbers of UK based students studying in EU universities and falling numbers of EU students studying in UK universities then everyone is going to suffer as a result of that. Could Brexit be an opportunity to strengthen wider research for education within the EU, shifting students towards considering other valuable alternatives in Europe? Are you aware of any European university which is adopting new changes to offer prestigious international courses in competition with the UK? Absolutely yes, and this is what we are noticing within the school that we used to have about more than 80% of students overapplying to the UK for universities; it is much more like 60% now with a great deal of more diversity in the location they’re considering there’s a lot of increase in interest in the Netherlands where they have predominantly english-speaking universities there. And obviously the english-speaking universities within the European Union are becoming a lot more compelling for EU passport holders particularly if they’re looking at increased fees for studying in the UK. What are the soft skills that should be implemented for a complete training aimed at introducing new graduates into the business world? I think collaboration is really important, communication skills are really important, I think the ability to problem-solve. A lot of the things that we base the nine C’s on, those are the skills that we consider really important here at the school which perhaps aren’t traditionally developed through the standard curriculum. So it’s thinks like how you work in a team, your ability to lead, the confidence you show in different scenarios, you’re cultural adaptability. All of those things will be vital in the workplace in the future. Finally, as a British International school in italy, what are the consequences you are expecting as a result of Brexit and are you planning to make any internal changes? Well we’ve had to make some changes with the recruitment process, because almost all of our teachers are British nationals, and obviously delivering British curriculum and that will continue to be the case. And we have some new procedures that we have to go to in order to employ British nationals in the school, we haver to apply for visas, where we didn’t have to apply for them before. So we’ve introduced some new processes there; it all seems to be going very smoothly at the moment so we are very pleased about that. Also procurement, getting a hold of the resources, there’s import tariffs etcetera now that we have to negotiate and work our way around. So that’s a slightly more complex procedure; so we’ve made some changes but we were fully prepared for those as we’ve been working with the British embassy to make sure that we were ready for whatever eventualities occurred and touch wood it has bee very straight forward so far. 2. outcome of the brexit and practical changes for students willing to study in the uK. As a result of Brexit, students that arrive from the 1st January 2021 onwards to study or live, will experience some changes. The British Council, outlines the main arrangements which are being disposed by the UK Government (see table 1)1. Leaving the EU, presents significant challenges for students willing to study in the UK and on the other hand, for UK’s thriving society which relies on the economic boost brought by higher education. For example, the Russel Group (a self-selected association of 24 majour research intensive universities in the UK), contributes over £32 billion a year to the British economy; in 2011/ 2012 EU students have generated approximately £1.2 billion in UK’s economy and fulfilled over 11,120 jobs. EU nationality students in the Russel Group Universities are about 58,000; making up 8% of all undergraduate students and 15% of the postgraduate students. Other than the impact on higher education, a decline in the number of EU students implicates a decrease in the number of new graduates working in the country as valued employers. Students, tend to work in the UK after having obtained their diploma - to experience a business environment. Some institution in the UK, as London School of Economics and Political Science, include training programs aimed to launch students in the job market to encourage both; working in the country and provide students with employment opportunities. However after Brexit, students will have to apply separately for a visa to the Graduate Route which enables international students to remain in the UK to work for a maximum period of two years after their degree, or three years after completing a PhD. New arrangements as a result of Brexit, will influence student’s choice of study destination. Because the rights of EU students to live and work in the UK have changed, there will eventually be a decline in the diversity of the international student body. The British educational system, has always embraced individuals from different cultural backgrounds to promote innovation and growth through multiple approaches. Perhaps, one of the UK’s success stands in intercultural awareness which allows students to build networks and collaborative skills. If there were to be a decline in students from European countries, both the UK and EU students would suffer from the missed out opportunities. 3. the effect of brexit on student’s future employment and the british educational system. Although it is difficult to predict the long-term implications of Brexit and to what extent it will have an impact on student recruitment; it is likely that there will be a reduction of European student willing and able to study in the UK. Students may be discouraged by the process of the new settlement schemes amongst facing higher fees. Above this, European countries are taking the opportunity to offer international prestigious courses in competition with the UK. Inevitably these are becoming attractive alternatives for students taking into account a variety of undergraduate or postgraduate courses. An increase in the number of students studying within the EU rather than going to the UK could bring significant changes to the future employment prospects. For instance, the UK’s educational system is recognised worldwide for its effective education and training provision. Students become well-rounded in both curricular and extracurricular activities by developing qualitative skills, indispensable for being successful in future work placements. Therefore, higher education provision elsewhere, should enable students to have the same opportunities in terms of future employment. Where students are taught skills which go beyond the syllabus and more towards applying the knowledge to existing situations. In light of the new changes due to Brexit, it is likely that students are more prone to consider higher education opportunities in the EU rather than abroad. Despite the UK government’s reassurance that universities are just as open and welcoming to international students as before the referendum, it is undeniable that the Brexit will incur significant effects in the path of a student. Higher education in the UK has consistently increased its popularity amongst EU students willing to pursue their qualifications abroad. In 2018/ 2019 the total number of students from European countries in the UK was of 143,025; out of which the majority comes from Italy followed by France, Germany and Spain. Patterns of the most preferred subjects by international students include; Business & Administrative studies, Social studies, Medicine and Creative Arts. Out of these, Business & Administrative studies tends to be the most popular for three main reasons; graduate prospects, english as the main business language and academic excellence. Graduates prospects refers to the measure of employability of students after having completed their education; a graduation in Business & Administrative studies offers students a greater chance of job offer because the largest sector in the UK is the service industry. The service industries includes the financial sector, public sector, business administration and cultural activities. In 2020 it accounted for 81% of UK’s total GDP (Gross Value Added) and between October-December of the same year, it provided 82% of employment. As a student, business knowledge and skills are particularly well seen for the growth of British start-ups driven by UK’s fast globalisation. Secondly, because the UK operates in a global marketplace, a well established way of communication is fundamental. English is the business lingua franca that enables firms across countries to negotiate. As a result, students will be employable not only for UK companies, but also in a variety of multinational companies in need of an english-speaking worker. Lastly, international students are keen in studying Business & Administrative studies in the UK because of the outstanding higher education institutions it offers. There are over 100 business and management studies schools to choose from - 4 of which are featured in the QS top 10 in the world for this field. 4. an insight to london school of economics and political sciences student training. London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE), in the UK, is one of the topmost institutions renewed world-wide in the fields of; economics, politics and law amongst many others. LSE is committed to shape students for our rapidly changing world and building on interdisciplinary qualifications. Alongside offering an extensive curriculum for several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, LSE provides students with one of the best Careers Services. Students from LSE are able to access the following: • Employer presentations • Careers Fairs • Skilled workshops • Advice on Careers and CV and practice interviews2 LSE enables students to have awareness of the business world alongside maximising their employability through a team of consultants. For example, students can benefit from one to one arranged meetings for CV and mock interviews in preparation to future work placements. Also, the careers fairs which includes a dedicated finance sector, is attended by some of the majour banks to make candidates stand out as valuable workers. Skills workshop is another area which distinguishes itself for the meticulous approach to case-study and real life businesses. It enables student to have a deeper understanding of the work environment. Furthermore the department of careers support at LSE offers a training day for communication and personal impact at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts; to build confidence and versatility in students. The numerous workshops and extensive advice that LSE offers to students is outstanding in terms of launching new graduates in the business world. In such a complex process as the transition between education and work, being supported by a designated team is crucial for the fulfillment of achieving your career.

NOTE 1 “EU Student Advice.” EU Student Advice | British Council, study-uk.britishcouncil.org/moving-uk/eu-students. 2 London School of Economics and Political Science. “Careers Services.” London School of Economics and Political Science, www.lse.ac.uk/finance/study/current-students/careers-services.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
© 2019 Rivista Microfinanza. All Rights Reserved.