Senior UK Academics Call For People’s Vote To Save Universities

Red Cow Media
23rd November 2018


More respected education figureheads have added to calls for a new Brexit referendum. Three Russell Group heads and a Nobel prize winner have all weighed into the debate for another vote.

 

The professor of higher education at Oxford University has joined forces with vice-chancellors of University College London, Warwick University, Cardiff University to call for a people’s vote. They want a second referendum to end what they describe as a ‘dangerous political stalemate’ on Brexit.

 

Theresa May will take part in a Brexit debate on Sunday 9th December, two days before MPs vote on her deal. In the eventuality that they reject her deal, a no deal will become more likely.

 

The university heads claim that leaving the EU will be detrimental to Britain’s universities, but leaving without a deal would be even worse. As they see it, leaving with a no deal would make it harder to entice talented students from abroad, disrupt current international student exchange programs in place, and threaten research networks across the EU.

 

What A No-Deal Brexit Would Mean For International Students

 

One of the biggest concerns is that a no deal will deter thousands of potential European students from studying in the UK; that’s if Brexit hasn’t done that already. In fact, Cambridge University have reported that applications across the European Union have already dropped by a staggering 14% since the referendum.

 

Professor Stuart Croft, the vice-chancellor of Warwick University explains that a no-deal Brexit would have a profound negative effect in regards to researchers. This is because they have established relationships with universities overseas which makes it easier for them to find work abroad.

 

A no-deal Brexit would mean European researchers will feel pressurised to carry on research outside the UK. A survey undertaken last month has shown that 78% of EU researchers said they were less likely to stay after Brexit.

 

Many In Support Of New Vote

 

Furthermore, Croft referenced the huge support for a new referendum. In fact, of 77,000 students from up and down the UK, three quarters voted in favour of a new vote. It seems as though the younger demographic of Britain feel that the first referendum didn’t properly reflect all potential outcomes – including the finer details of what may happen if there’s a no-deal.

 

The chances of there being a new referendum, however, are unknown. The upcoming debate on Sunday 9th December will give the public a clearer view of what the prime minister’s proposed deal entails. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, will also be present to answer questions at the debate. The party insist that they will not support May’s deal if they don’t feel it gives the UK the best opportunity after they leave the EU.

 

This opens up the opportunity for a second Brexit referendum, or indeed a referendum for a new prime minister entirely if May receives a vote of no confidence.

 

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