Brexit Can Benefit Indian and Non-EU Students

The voters in Britain have chosen Brexit, which means the UK is not any more a part of the European Union (EU). Brexit will have serious effects on British and EU students. There has been quite a bit of tension and speculation among Indian and other non-EU students as well regarding “what Brexit means to Indian students” and “how Brexit will affect Indian students“. Apparently, Brexit can Benefit Indian and Non-EU Students, at least in the short-term. UK now joins Switzerland and Norway, two other countries in the mainland Europe, but not a part of the EU. EU consists of 28 member states including strong economies like Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and France.

UK Exit from the EU

How Brexit will affect International and Indian Students for Study in the UK?

The Brexit has got substantial consequences for British and European students. Even for the international, rather say and non-EU students, there are some serious consequences. UK used to gain a lot from the EU membership like free movement for trade and migration. Visa was not required for UK citizens for travelling to Europe, and likewise nationals from other EU countries used to study and work in the UK without any visa requirements. UK will also lose out on EU funding. However, there are some bright sides of Brexit for the Indian and other non-EU students (e.g. students from China, Brazil, and Korea, Australia, USA, Canada etc.).

How Brexit Can Benefit Indian and Non-EU Students

Decrease in Overall Cost of Studying

Apparently the cost of studying in the UK will be much affordable now for Indain students, as reported by the Times of India. Following the Brexit, the Pound has crashed. GBP was around Rs. 101, and now it has come down to Rs. 92. So, even if the tuition fees remain the same, Indian students (and non-EU students) can save up to 10% in the overall costs (fees and living expenses). According to Sudarshan Motwani (CEO, BookMyForex), the fall in GBP is a good news for the Indian students studying, or looking forward to study in the UK as it would be favorable for sending remittances (The Financial Express). Anil Khandelwal (CFO, Cox & Kings Ltd.) shared similar views as well as reported by the leading daily The Hindu. The Travel Agent Association of India (TAAI) also said that the airline fares will also get cheaper from India to UK. Hence, new students flying for September/October 2016 will also save some money on travel (DNA India).

Besides, UK universities are offering several scholarship schemes (full and partial) in order to ease out the financial burden on international students. Brexit can now benefit the Indian and non-EU students a little more as overall study costs are likely to have a decline by 8 – 10%.

Number of Jobs for Indian and Non-EU Students is Likely to Rise

Now, EU students will also need a visa (or work permit) in order to work in the UK. So, that will ease out a little bit of competition for the Indian and non-EU students. When it comes to job recruitment, first preference used to go to UK nationals, second preference for EU nationals, and international students including Indians used to get the last preference. Now Indian students and European students are likely to get the same preference. So, qualified and skilled Indian students will find it easy to get a job and stay in the UK. The same prediction has been reported by DNA India as well.

Unemployment in the EU has been on a rise due to skill gap. many EU students use to migrate to the UK for job opportunities.The number of EU nationals working in the UK is around 2.1 million (Financial Times). According to FT, 6.8% of UK workforce is from another EU country. Following Brexit, few hundred jobs can easily go to qualified and skilled Indian students. According to reports from Guardian and Telegraph, 25% of employers said they would be likely to increase recruitment of British and international graduates.

Sectors/Occupations with Skill Shortage in the UK need International Students

If you are studying any of the following subjects, you are even more likely to find yourself employed, as per the data from the UK Government:

  • Geotechnical Design Engineering
  • Geotechnical Studies
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry
  • Mining Geotechnical Engineering
  • Mining & Energy
  • Civil Engineering
  • Oil and Petroleum Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical and Manufacturing (Process) Engineering in the Aerospace and Oil & Gas sectors
  • Electrical Engineering in the Oil & Gas sector
  • Electronics Engineering in the Railways Industry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy
  • Informatics
  • Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Medical Doctors (Hematology, Emergency Medicine, Old Age Psychiatry)
  • Medical Radiography
  • Nursing
  • 2D/3D Computer Animation & Graphics and Visual Effects
  • Graphic Design
  • Culinary Arts

Besides the skills shortage occupations, UK is also having a sharp rise in the number of startups. So, number of jobs is again likely to rise.

No Short-Term Significant Effect on the Economy

Brexit will lead to a decline in the number of EU students coming to the UK because they will be considered as International Students, and hence they will need to pay higher fees. However, few universities are not planning to increase fees for EU students. University College London (UCL) is the first British University to confirm that tuition fees for EU students won’t go up (The Independent). Every year, UK universities generate over £73 billion for the UK economy, and only £3.7bn (out of £73 billion) used to come from the EU students. UK used to have a net gain of £2 million from the EU funding. So, the overall impact is not that much significant in the short term, and will not affect the Indian students that much. In fact, the Brexit can be potentially good for India even in the longer-term (NDTV). So, if you are waiting to pay your tuition deposit, or the tuition fees installment, this is the time to do it.

In order to fill out the above shortages Government are trying hard to get international students. In fact universities have also introduced a lot of Master programs with industrial (and professional) paid internships. The long-term consequences are still not clear. But, Indian and non-EU students can definitely benefit out from the Brexit due to decline in overall costs and more job opportunities.

MeetUniversity Editorial Team: Study abroad In House Expert who is an Aston University (UK) alumni with 5 years of international research experience.
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