On February 1, the British exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) began.
Officially, the United Kingdom (UK) is no longer part of the EU. However, the UK and the EU will continue to conduct negotiations from February until December 31, 2020. During this transition period, the UK will still need to follow EU rules, including trading obligations.
A little bit of history
The EU comprises 28 European countries that have a unified agreement on various economic and political matters, including trade, work, and residency. The agreement guarantees the free movement of trade and people among all member states.
The UK became a part of the EU in 1973. It is the first state to withdraw its membership.
This withdrawal began in June 2016 when 17.4 million British residents voted through a referendum for the implementation of Brexit. The final tally: 52% of the population voted in favor of Brexit while 48% wanted the country to remain in the EU.
Although there are still negotiations and talks that will follow, there is no doubt that Brexit will have implications for all aspects of Britain as a country. But what does it specifically have in store for international students who want to study in the UK?
Loss of “privileges” for EU students
These issues might be resolved within the next few months. For students who come from EU nations, though, Brexit indicates a loss of “privileges.” For example, European students will no longer have subsidized tuition , which might prompt such students to enroll in or transfer to universities within the EU.
Currently, about 130,000 European students are studying in the UK.
Good news for other international students
India is one of the biggest sources of international students in the UK. Experts and students, however, have growing concerns on the possible repercussions of Brexit on their study-abroad plans.
Among the issues that are coming up are:
- If Brexit will change admission requirements
- If new rules on student and work visas will be implemented
- If the cost of studying and living in the UK will be more expensive
Yet a decline in the number of European students studying in the UK could mean better chances and more slots for international students from other countries.
It could also mean more job opportunities for these foreign students. The UK Home Office has announced that it will re-open the Post-Study Work (PSW) visa that allows students to find work in the country two years after graduating from their studies.
The country will also launch a program that will open more work opportunities for those focused on programs in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
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