Students are suffering from “Brexit blues”, according to a poll that found that more than three-quarters of UK undergraduates feel negatively about the result of the European Union referendum.
The poll of 1,000 students conducted by YouthSight also found that nearly one in five students who voted in favour of leaving the EU said that they would change their vote if they could, in light of the aftermath of the vote.
Overall, 77 per cent of respondents said that they felt negatively about the referendum result, with only 12 per cent saying that they felt positively about it.
Students who felt very negatively about Brexit raised concerns about the economy, a rise in racial discrimination, reduced mobility for study and work, and reduced funding for scientific and academic programmes.
One respondent, a female first-year student at the University of Gloucestershire, said that she had “lost the right and opportunity to work and/or live in 27 different countries. The Leave campaign has brought to light the xenophobic and racist views that are still very much alive in this country and it’s sickening,” she said.
Another interviewee, a female second-year student at Kingston University, said that she felt “really uncertain” about her future. “I feel like we no longer have a really positive connection with the EU and so England feels so much more like an island than it did before,” the student said.
The poll, conducted with a representative sample between 15 and 20 July, finds that 87 per cent of students who were eligible to take part in the referendum did vote. This is higher than the nationwide average of 72 per cent and suggests that university students cannot be blamed for the lower turnout, estimated at 64 per cent, among those aged between 18 and 24.
Of those who did vote, 85 per cent voted in favour of Remain, with 15 per cent voting Leave, according to the poll. This suggests that nearly 1 million out of the UK’s 1.4 million full-time undergraduates backed staying in the EU, YouthSight said.
Nationwide, 52 per cent of voters supported Brexit, against 48 per cent for Remain.
Support for Remain appears to have been higher among students than pre-referendum polls indicated, suggesting that most undecided students ended up backing EU membership.
However, the poll also finds that 17 per cent of students who voted Leave said that, in light of the events of the past month since the result was announced, they would change their vote if they could. Only 3 per cent of student Remain voters said that they would now change their vote.