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Is a British university degree really worth it any more?

No subject currently dominates daily life in the UK more than Brexit. The country is due to leave the European Union EU in March , and uncertainty surrounding the circumstances of its departure filters into all sectors, including higher education.

For universities, there are several reasons for concern. Academics are concerned about losing the cultural and scholastic benefits of pan-European exchange programs, as are students approaching university age. Furthermore, the uncertainty facing European students might prevent them from applying to pursue any kind of higher education in the UK. This may diminish the cultural richness currently found in British universities and present one of many financial challenges to institutions in the near future. While further discussion of Brexit may seem over the top, it's potential influence is far-reaching.

Take immigration rules as an example. Furthermore, the issues surrounding research funding are off-putting to academics and other institutions that might otherwise have pursued collaboration. Current data does provide some cause for alarm. Durham University has lost its place within the top global universities, whilst London universities with an enduring presence on the international scene — such as Imperial College London and University College London — have dropped down the table. THE also compiles World University Rankings — a global list of the best 1, institutions — each year.

Whether this trend continues remains to be seen, but the challenge for British universities is to take proactive steps toward improving their reputation abroad. Chinese universities have made rapid improvements in their global reputation, while Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have managed to attract students put off by the current political situation in both the UK and the United States. Where the UK higher education sector seems to be in a slump, other countries are thriving. Some factors — most notably, Brexit — are outside of the direct remit of British universities.

The outcome of negotiations with the EU, particularly in terms of the rights of EU academics and students post-Brexit, will have a substantial influence on how the UK recovers its reputation. Universities and colleges need to have backup plans prepared in case of a no-deal Brexit, and beyond , long-term strategies to revive individual institutions and the sector as a whole.

How many UK universities are there?

In February, Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a change to the pricing structure of British university courses, which would force institutions to charge less for courses that are cheaper to run and have lower projected graduate earnings. The response from the higher education sector was almost universally negative. It was argued that this would make Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics STEM degrees more expensive than other subject areas, which in turn discourages disadvantaged students from studying these subjects.

There are serious concerns within academic institutions regarding access to research funding post-Brexit. It was confirmed in July that research projects currently financed by the EU would continue to receive funding until The real challenge will come once that grace period has expired. News videos. Explainer videos. Sport videos. Money transfers. Health insurance. Money Deals. The Independent Books. Voucher Codes. Just Eat. National Trust. Premium Articles.

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