Brexit: Is this the end for EU students?


London (Benedetta Pironi) – Since the Brexit happened in 2016, the referendum established the leave for the British Island from the European Union. More than a year after the EU leaders approved the start of the second phase of the negotiation. But what will occur exactly?

If the content of the first phase involved economic and geo-political issues, now the discussion turns around the relationship between UK-EU within a period of transition. This time frame is crucial to determine the condition of a new possible government post-Brexit. In particular, one of the priority involves the academic world and its consequences in terms of international education.

It will be important to clarify and make a decision about the maintenance of international programs such as Horizon 2020 ad Erasmus+, which promote the mobility of those students who desire to take up a career or an educational path abroad.

The student exchanges, the cooperation between teachers, and the collaboration of global institutions are essential factors for the growth and improvement of a cosmopolitan nation. The introduction of Brexit therefore generates a tense atmosphere made of doubts and anxiety for the near future. Although London still attracts a lot of international students, the condition of an instability like this causes skepticism to young people who see their rights, as well as their dreams, collapse.

But this new generation, so-called millennials, are young people born in a dynamic world, which is constantly in evolution. In that sense, they have learnt to be more flexible and open-minded and, in contrast to their ancestors, they are more inclined to detach from a reality if this one can limit them.

So what would be the consequences if Great Britain, after 2020, decide not to support these activities anymore? The worst prediction would be a brain drain exodus, that had already affected Italy a few years ago, of young talented people towards other countries.