In this blog, Dr Anil Awesti discusses the impact of Brexit on Higher Education and Adult Education as a whole.
Why is now an interesting time to be studying politics?
We are currently living through revolutionary times politically speaking. The fundamental structure of politics and international relations is being questioned. They are under immense stress and transformation in this contemporary period.
In the mid-17th century, the basic structure within politics and international relations was that the nation state countries and their national governments determined what happened in their own countries and between borders. Pressures then emerged and challenged the power of national government. The power shifted away, up towards the EU and international influences (and shifted away from national governments and their powers).
In current times, there is now the re-emergence of nationalism across Europe and the vote in favour of Brexit is being seen as part of a wider process. The electorate was seen as a reclaiming of Britain’s own government and bringing back the power to Westminster.
In a nutshell, students are in a privileged position as they are now analysing issues taking place in front of their own eyes. They are able to understand fundamentally why these changes are taking place and they will watch the complexity of politics play out in front of them. They will witness the British Government take back control within contemporary globalised relations in the coming years. They will see the costs and benefits of this and students will gain a greater understanding of this.
What do you think the impact of Brexit will be on Higher Education as a whole?
EU policies are a fundamentally important function within HE. For instance, European research funding allows for leading research which in turn leads to new medicines being produced and more climate friendly ways of producing goods and services and advances in society. The EU plays a fundamental role within universities and its social economic progress.
The EU allows for free movement of people which furthers the advancement of ideas. The progress of ideas relies heavily on people being able to communicate and work together freely within the European space.
UK universities have also benefited immensely from European academics moving to the UK and not to mention academics from the UK moving overseas.
From the student perspective, the Erasmus+ programme is a EU funded programme which allows students to move and experience other European countries and universities. If the UK removes this programme and option for students, the impact on students will be detrimental. They will no longer be able to take advantage of being exposed to other cultures in other European countries and they will also no longer able to experience different academic settings in other EU universities.
How do you think Brexit will impact on adult learners returning to education?
This does depends on personal circumstances. However, adult education institutions such as CLL pride themselves on providing the opportunity to access education later on in life to adults from lower social economic backgrounds. Quite often the opportunity to study wasn’t available to them when they were younger.
Communities most likely to suffer the economic effects of Brexit are those who are already in disadvantaged areas. If the Brexit predictions are correct, people in these areas are most likely to suffer the economic effects and this could have significant ramifications for adult education in this country. The resources available to access lifelong learning may no longer be possible. If there is no government funding available or if it is significantly reduced, there may still be opportunities to re-skill adults but not the extent that may be required.
On our 2+2 degree pathway (BA in Social Studies), you’ll study modules such as Political Ideas and World Politics which will provide knowledge of structures and issues in British and global politics and key concepts in the study of these such as power, globalisation and democracy. Applications are now open. Find out more about the degree pathway here.