Brexit opportunities

July 7, 2016

By wishing to stay in the European Union, higher education staff have placed themselves at odds with most ordinary people in provincial England and Wales.

Now Times Higher Education is full of articles by academics wishing to bring in foreign staff and students, despite the changed circumstances. Maybe there is another way of looking at it.

For many years, universities have discriminated unfairly against English and Welsh students.

First, English students are made to pay tuition fees far higher than those elsewhere in Europe (not to speak of Scotland). Therefore they are forced to take out loans that cripple them financially.

Second, students are crammed on to cheap courses. Courses requiring expensive laboratories have been closed. Large numbers of overseas nationals, particularly engineers and medical doctors, have been imported instead to perform essential work.

Third, a vast amount of money is wasted because British employers do not create relevant careers for new graduates.

Fourth, businesses and universities do not provide lifelong learning, recruiting people from abroad instead of promoting local staff.

Investment in higher education should be a keystone for the UK’s economic development. Instead, our university leaders are selling England’s higher education seed corn to foreign countries. It has got to stop. Perhaps Brexit will provide incentives to develop universities better fitted to English students.

Frederic Stansfield

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