Positive steps

July 21, 2016

Brexit was a shock result for many and after weeks of negative discussion about the possible impact on higher education, it was a relief to read a pragmatic response by Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (“Hepi director: Brexit may bring ‘new opportunities’ in sector”, News, 12 July).

As well as the possible opportunities highlighted in the article, there are other factors to consider. If the euro becomes stronger than the pound, could the UK become a more financially viable and desirable place for European Union-domiciled students to study? If the UK is not tied to the Bologna Agreement, will this provide EU students with more beneficial study opportunities in the UK compared with their own country?

EU students are important participants in UK higher education and for many universities they constitute a substantial number of their student body. However, it is also important to note that EU participation in the UK in terms of the overall student body is relatively small. Statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that, since 1994, EU undergraduate enrolments account for 3 to 4 per cent of all undergraduate enrolments and 7 to 9 per cent for master’s degrees. When the UK did not adopt the euro in the mid-1990s, there was concern that EU participation in higher education would decline. In fact it has increased proportionally in terms of enrolments.

There are pitfalls with everything and we need to discuss them and take them into consideration. As well as Brexit, two other major concerns for us in the UK are the continuing decrease in higher education funding and the pitfalls and potential impact of the teaching excellence framework.

But change also brings the chance to shape, create and innovate. I would like to read discussion and ideas on how we can move forward positively and quickly to secure and sustain higher education, leaving it stronger and healthier than it was before Brexit.

Michelle Morgan
Kingston University


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Professorship in Behavioural Science LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Foundation Partnerships Officer LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE

Most Commented

Social media icons

Gabriel Egan laments the narcissistic craving for others’ approval brought on, he says, by the use of social networking websites

James Fryer illustration (8 September 2016)

Some lecturers will rightly encourage forms of student interaction that are impossible for those covering their faces, Eric Heinze argues

University of Oxford students walking on campus

University of Oxford snatches top spot from Caltech in this year’s World University Rankings as Asia’s rise continues

Handwritten essay on table

Universities must pay more attention to the difficulties faced by students, says Daniel Dennehy

Theresa May entering 10 Downing Street, London

The prospect of new grammar schools on the horizon raises big questions for HE, writes Nick Hillman