Brexit impact on current and prospective WUR students
The consequences of Brexit for prospective UK student or for WUR student will cause an impact. Therefore, the concerns and thought of our students are of high relevance. We asked the opinion, from a personal perspective, from a student enrolled at WUR and living in the Netherlands.
As a UK student studying here in Wageningen and, given the fact that Brexit has received so much news coverage recently in the EU, I am often asked questions about the topic. So here is some of my opinions and concerns.
Firstly, I want to make it clear that I am completely against Brexit. I voted to stay part of the EU and I know that most young people that I know in the UK feel the same.
From the perspective of a UK student the EU has so many opportunities to work or study. Now there is a big question mark over these opportunities. Studying in Wageningen is a great example of one of the many benefits the EU has brought me. I am happy I can study under the same conditions as Dutch students thanks to EU legislation. I love the university and I have learnt so much since I have been here. The teaching style is very different from UK universities, with a lot more contact hours, group work and practical classes. In the UK we have a lot of essay-based assignments whereas in Wageningen there is a greater focus on presentations and reports which better reflect the type of work that we may do in future careers. I enjoy studying here so much that I have recommended the university to several friends in the UK. However, my recommendations come with the Brexit caveat and this is a real shame.
I am happy that the future of UK students currently studying in the EU is secure and the same goes for EU students currently studying in the UK. But what about all the prospective students? If a no deal Brexit happens that a giant window of opportunity will have been shut in their face. Already, I fear that fewer students from the UK are studying in the EU due to uncertainties over Brexit. It is impossible to know the economic costs that missed opportunities for UK students to study, work, and make friends across the EU will have. It is ridiculous that the UK government does not recognise the importance of the mobility of students between EU countries through programs like ERASMUS.
Recently, I participated in a summer school in Brazil, organised through Wageningen Univeristy. Participants in the school were from the US and China as well as some fellow Europeans. I was proud to share the diverse, multi-lingual and multi-cultural benefits of the EU with the Chinese and American students.
The EU is unique in the sense that a short journey by train or plane can transport you into a completely different culture and language. This journey is without any customs or visa restrictions, unparalleled in the rest of the world. Brexit will make this journey to and from the UK unnecessarily difficult.
What is going to happen with WUR students from the UK?
The partnerships with the UK universities and the WUR will end on Brexit day. Whether or not to get a resident permit after brexit day is not decided yet. New strategic partnerships will need to be formed between universities in the UK and the Netherlands. Since a possible exchange programme will not be part of Erasmus+ it won’t be scholarships available for students.
Prospective students from the UK should know that…
British citizens that would like to study in the Netherlands after Brexit day cannot study under the same conditions and the same tuition fees as other EU students. This means we will treat you like non-European , which means the tuition fee applied for the EU citizens is no longer valid. Officially the UK is no longer able to participate in the Erasmus+ programme. Therefore, the master study expenses for British students will change from EU fee of € 2,110 to Non-EU/EFTA students fee of € 18,800 (estimate).