Universities all over Europe have begun offering more courses taught in English to accommodate a predicted surge in students from the United Kingdom after Brexit.
In the last year alone, the number of programmes taught in English in European universities increased by 13 percent, a figure expected to rise even further, according to The Independent.
In Poland, for example, over the course of the last three years, the number of English-taught courses doubled.
In Study.EU’s recent annual university rankings of 30 European countries, Poland managed to make it into the top 10 countries to study for international students. This is likely because its increasing number of English courses is making it a growing rival for the UK when recruiting international students.
The UK still stands at number three, however, Study.EU Chief Executive Gerrit Bruno Blöss warned with high tuition fees, high living costs and complications due to Brexit, it could quickly lose its desirability.
“With low unemployment and high GDP per capita [in the UK], the opportunities for English-speaking graduates are currently much better than in most other European countries,” Blöss told The Independent.
“However, Brexit might adversely affect some of the underlying metrics if the economy takes a hit.
“At the same time, Britain’s top rank in ‘Education’ is at risk if policy changes motivate talented academic staff to leave.”
If Brexit and Trump hamper English-language talent industries, continental Europe should benefit.
The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries are now attracting world-class foreign academics, and that’s before the anticipated post-Brexit exodus from British universities.
— Eddie Du (@Edourdoo) January 13, 2018
The Independent revealed in an article last month over 2,300 EU academics resigned from positions at UK universities over the last year over Brexit concerns. And institutions in Europe are helping themselves to the talent as they prepare for a potential fall-out when Brexit begins, Blöss claimed.
“Compared to last year, there has been a noticeable increase of programmes offered in English,” he said.
“Universities on the continent are preparing for Brexit. They expect European students to seek alternatives to the UK in the coming years.”
Education Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats Layla Moran told The Independent the increasing number of English-taught courses in Europe are “deeply concerning” for the future of UK universities.
“More than 2,000 academics from elsewhere in Europe have already resigned from posts at UK universities in the past year and now it seems we may see a similar impact on students too,” she warned.
The exact details of how Brexit will affect students are yet to be released, however, with more universities elsewhere providing programmes in English, competition is increasing.
“If the government is serious about protecting our universities and ensuring they remain some of the best in the world, they should prioritise giving European citizens living and working in the UK an unequivocal right to remain,” Moran asserted.
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