According to some leaving the EU will ‘damage our universities’ but, according to others it will open up more opportunities and improve graduates chances of securing jobs. So which is it to be, who is right and who is wrong?
Erm yeah you’ve lost me, so what exactly is the EU referendum again?
So let’s break down exactly what is being proposed here. The referendum is a singular vote put to the public whether they want Britain to stay part of the European Union or not. There are two major campaigns running alongside it to either stay or leave the EU.
The ‘Stay’ campaign has been backed with some big names such as Former Head of Marks and Spencer’s Lord Rose, Businesswoman Karen Brady and actress Emma Thompson. This argument concentrates mainly on the EU as our main trading partner. The ‘Vote Leave’ campaign focuses on the EU membership costs and argues Britain would benefit if EU trade restrictions were lifted.
Yeah yeah, that’s all very well but where has this come from all of a sudden?
It has been argued for some time that the EU imposes certain regulations on Britain which are very damaging to our trade and by removing these restrictions would allow us to be more productive and negotiate better deals for Britain. Obviously there are always going to be two sides to this and so others have argued that this is completely not true. If you were to follow David Cameron’s ‘Stay’ campaign you would be supporting the strong belief that leaving the EU would in fact weaken our economy and cause a major disturbance to our job market.
So how can this affect me?
The move is predicted to affect higher education in a number of ways, both good and bad. As seen in past the graduate job market can fluctuate rather rapidly. The slightest of changes result in dense unemployment rates and qualified graduates working in entry level jobs. Last year saw the graduate job market mark significant improvements for the first time in almost 10 years. But as the referendum approaches reality is kicking in and the outcome is becoming somewhat daunting.
A vote to leave the EU could result in drastic reduction to university funding and would employ restrictions making it harder to carry out international projects or to collaborate in research projects with international researchers. Also according to figures, around 5 per cent of students who study in the UK are actually from EU countries which generates over £2 billion each year. This is suggested to not only have a damaging effect to our revenue but also attracting overseas students harming Britain’s much praised cultural diversity.
But to make matters more confusing commentators have argued that more than two thirds of British economy last year came from UK only trade. This implies that a leave move could actually allow UK trade to flourish without any constraints and improve our economy.
So which side do I choose?
Well, that is completely up to you. No one knows which way this could go but according to the opinion polls the ‘stay’ campaign is currently ahead but it could still go either way, these are just predictions.
Rachael Roberts – Digital Campaign Coordinator, Searchability