Miscellaneous

What the referendum results mean for EU students in Britain

The referendum shocked everyone. The UK leaving Europe sounds like something out of a novel, an insane idea that would never actually happen. But as a prospective student from Spain who is moving to an English university this autumn, you probably understand how the results shook me in particular.

The day after the results were known, my university sent me a very kind email, saying that I shouldn’t worry, that my tuition would remainΒ the sameΒ for the three years of my course, and that nothing major would change about it. That was of course welcome news – I was terrified that I would have to give up on my dream of studying in England. I already had my place and my student loan, so imagine how I would have felt if my university had told me that I couldn’t go!

What makes me incredibly sad, however, is thinking about the people who are dreaming about studying in England right now. If this referendum had happened a year ago, I would have been an emotional mess. All the teens from Europe with big dreams of studying in England – they’ll probably face a more expensive tuition, won’t be able to get a student loan, or study at all. Of course none of this is certain, but things will definitely change, and it’s likely that it will be harder as an EU student to study in Britain.

I know that this is not a problem most people consider. EU students are not the UK’s major concern, instead everyone is talking about the economy and immigration. Those are important issues, of course, but I wanted to write about those students no one is paying attention to, because this feels almost like a personal attack, and it’s an issue that is very close to my heart. I hope universities won’t make things too difficult for people like me – not everyone was so lucky to get a place before the referendum, and if the tuition is too expensive and student loans become impossible to come by, a lot of young dreams will be crushed.

I guess this post doesn’t really have a point. I just feel very sad by what’s happened, and I wanted to write about it. I’m in no way a political expert, I don’t understand most of what’s happening, most of the changes Britain is going through. All I can do is hope that the country’s relations with Europe will remain good enough for EU students to not give up on their dreams.

 

‘Till next time and happy reading!

tumblr_m94v62LH871rvwcdj

Advertisements

42 thoughts on “What the referendum results mean for EU students in Britain

  1. As a UK citizen who voted Remain, I am also incredibly concerned about the UK’s future relationship with the rest of Europe. Half the population did not want this, and I think a large majority of the Leave voters didn’t exactly understand what they were voting for. Leave campaigners have already mentioned there will be very little change in migration, which is the reason a lot of people voted how they voted.

    I was completely disheartened with the reasons as to why the U.K (the people, not the politicians) wanted to leave; that they thought they could refuse entry to EU citizens as well as kick people out because they don’t look or sound English (whatever that means. We’ve already had an increase in Xenophobic attacks).

    But, if it makes you feel any better, the EU referendum is merely an advisory and, while it may seem undemocratic, Parliament can overrule that vote if they so wish, especially considering it is basically 50/50. If it was a landslide then I guess it would be a different story. But this also means that we are still in the EU, and the U.K still welcomes EU students! I think by the time you come to the U.K, things would have begun to calm down, I think people are angry and confused by the propaganda (and lies) they’ve faced. It’ll be talked about forever, no doubt, but I don’t think it’s wishful thinking to assume that the government, if we do leave, will put negotiations in place to help EU students still have an affordable education in the U.K πŸ™‚

    P.S. This is the first blog post I’ve seen on the EU Ref so sorry for the giant slab of text! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh thank you so much for the long reply, it made my day! I don’t really know a lot about politics, so I’m always happy to see people who understand it a bit better share positive thoughts! 😊
      Honestly I thought the referendum wasn’t serious either but then Cameron resigned and I was just like what???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeahhh, I honestly thought we’d remain. I was shaking when a friend texted me at 6am telling me. It shouldn’t have gone to vote; the general public do not understand politics this much and should not have to make a decision which politicians are supposed to be able to do for us. This is why we elect them! But anyway, yeah, there is some positivity! The government itself wanted to remain, so if we do leave, they’ll want to negotiate everything to make sure not a lot of stuff changes πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As an European citizen (Portuguese) living for a few years in the UK (and contributing very much, I may add), I am still shocked with the results, the ‘voice’ from the British. The British have spoken, and basically, they don’t want us here – I think, mostly, it’s about the psychological impact, and the doors that have been opened to xenophobia and racism. Now the funny and ironic thing is those who say they ‘regret’. I mean, what do they regret now? Now that they have realized that it’s not only about ‘kicking out immigrants’ but that it has actually consequences on the economy and stability of their country, now they regret?? I know NOT all British citizens are bad, I know NOT all British citizens are xenophobic. But honestly, this result is appalling. And worrying. Am I worried? No, I am and will still be part of the EU, in any case. And so will you. You will still have the right to travel and work and study in any other countries. Not sure if UK will really be out of the EU in the end, because as Hollie said, the referendum is merely advisory and there are already parties promising to ignore the referendum should they be elected. But, for me, in my heart, on Friday, UK has lost its magic and sparkle.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I definitely hear you! The results are, even if they don’t have a major impact, incredibly sad.
      I’m happy that at least half of Britain voted remain, and I’m still incredinly excited to move there! πŸ˜ƒ
      Thank you for the long comment. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for posting this Izzi. This has been on my mind too. A friend of mine told me her uni emailed her to let EU students know that they were unsure of what might happen, but that they’d still welcome prospective EU students. There are a few things I want to say though:

    The UK is still in the EU. Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty acknowledges that 2 years must pass for negotiations, so there is time to set this straight. The next PM has a choice: either they ignore the treaty and go ahead with leaving the EU (which has catastrophic implications, and would lose the party respect) or stay in the EU (which also means that the referendum had no meaning, so that’s not great either). There is a lot of debate at the moment. There has even been a petition calling for a second referendum, but that’s not likely to happen. It’s terrible though. This referendum has just been a triumph for right-wing xenophobic, racist politicians and people who thought they succeeded in “getting all the immigrants out.” It’s revealed some horrifying truths about attitudes in this country. Whatever the outcome, EU students are always welcome!

    Sorry for a long comment haha.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. More than 3 million people have now signed the petition, so there’s an overwhelming need to change the referendum result over here. The immediate impact of the referendum has already made a lot of people regret voting Leave, so I’d say we’ve all learnt from it. We can only hope now.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been following the news for a while now and I was a bit shocked when I heard about the results. I’m a democrat so you know my take on this situation. Like you said, whether you stay or leave, it’s a political mess. You’re so right about the racist motivations. I’m afraid of what will happen in the US if Donald Trump somehow becomes our next president. I was thinking about writing a post on the impact of the referendum from a financial perspective since I’m a financial analyst.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Financially we’re pretty screwed. It’ll take time for the pound to recover. I’m so glad you mentioned Trump, actually. I was thinking about this the day after the referendum, and if something as unlikely as this happened in the UK, I would urge you all in the US to not stay complacent. Everybody I knew voted Remain, but we woke up to some terrible news.
        I’d love to read your post too! Definitely consider posting it soon πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been explaining the financial impact to people I know. No one here seems to understand what it means. Once you see an increase in inflation you’re looking at higher interest rates, higher rates of unemployment, and a whole other mess of things I’ll explain in that post. I guess I need to write it now. πŸ˜‰ We had this issue during the Bush administration. Just the credit card rates alone just about killed everyone. I was very thankful for President Obama. He doesn’t get enough credit for all the good he’s done because of Congress. I would’ve voted to remain. I know Obama was hoping you would, too. I’m out of here if Trump is elected president. I can’t stand to look at him, let alone have him as my Commander-in-Chief. I can’t even imagine someone like him having control over our military. Scary thought. I work for the Department of Defense, so that would make him my boss. Ugh! I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yeah, it’s really complex! Haha I understand completely. I can barely stand watching him on the news, but having him as President is something else. Definitely crossing my fingers over here for you guys.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post, Izzi! Considering my financial background, I’ve been thinking of the referendum more in terms of the economic and financial aspect, so it’s interesting to see it from another point of view. I’m glad your education will not be affected. That’s good news. It’s a shame for others hoping to attend school in the UK. I was thinking about writing a post on the financial side of things. Not sure if I’ll have time to write it though. I wonder how many people realized what they were voting for when they made their decision? This kind of thing always scares me here in the US, especially since it’s an election year, and we have one of the most racist candidates running for president.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Letting people see a different point of view was my goal. πŸ˜ƒ
      Yeah I can’t imagine what will happen if Trump becomes president! And I already replied to your other comment, but yeah, I’d love to see a post about that. πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve got a lot of great long comments here. I’m no expert on the political side of things, so won’t comment on that. Just glad that your eduction won’t suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great post Izzi! As someone who voted Remain I was honestly shocked when I woke up on Friday and saw we were leaving the EU, I don’t think anyone expected it to actually go that way. I think now all we have to do is wait and see what happens, like what Fatima said we still have two years to sort out treaty negotiations and get everything in place. Either way it’s great your university is keeping your tuition the same, I imagine it’s the same for a lot of universities this year accepting EU students but it still must have been a relief! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m from Britain and I do really understand your concerns. I’m sorry that you feel like you will not be welcome here- but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I realise that you may read a lot about people that supposedly voted to leave the EU based on the fact that they are xenophobic and “hate foreigners”. And I realise that seeing that more than 50% of the population that voted to leave, and equating all these people with xenophobic ideology might seem scary. But I can assure you that is not the case. The actual reasons for leaving the EU were far more complex than the media and many people on the Remain side of the debate are leading people to believe. For so many, immigration was not a major factor, or a factor at all. For many, this was a question of democracy and sovereignty- a question of whether Britain should be ruled by unelected officials in Brussels whose politics diverges from the UK’s. It is also important to bear in mind, that the referendum was not won by people on the right, but by those on the left, who feel that the establishment has let them down and are out of touch with ordinary people- for those people, again, it was not about immigration, but about protesting a government that refuses to listen to their concerns. And even for those where immigration was a factor, their desire was never to close the borders and or to impose a racist foreign policy- the likelihood anyway is that if a trade agreement is reached with Europe, free movement of people will remain in place. I am speaking, not as someone not from the side of Leave or Remain, but as someone trying to take a more impartial view. I hope that I have shown you another perspective and assuaged some of your fears.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You make excellent points. I’ve seen very little news coverage here in the US that addresses anything other than the racial aspect of the referendum. I assume that has a lot to do with our upcoming election or the particular news station. Here, it’s painted as more of a movement against immigration instead of the issue of Britain taking back their sovereignty. I don’t think a lot of Americans realize the complexities to British government that are much different from our own. I see the pros and cons to both remaining and leaving. We don’t have federal referendums in the United States. They’re done at the state level and not all states allow them, which is why I find the concept of direct democracy so interesting. You make a good point about the vote swinging to the left in favor of leaving, and I couldn’t see a liberal being opposed to immigration, so that makes a lot of sense to me. I found that a bit strange when I saw the numbers. I assume those who wanted to leave saw it as an opportunity to oppose Cameron’s position to remain as more of a protest. If I lived there, I would’ve had a tough time making this decision. We went through some tough times here during the Bush administration, and I think I would’ve voted against whatever the republicans were in favor of if it meant I’d have some say in how the government was run. Financially speaking we had some serious dark days with Bush. I like the idea of direct democracy but it’s a little scary to vest that much power in the people. Politics in general are kind of scary because you never know when you’re hearing the truth, making it very hard for citizens to make informed decisions.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I totally agree with the last part of this comment. Part of me wants us (as the human race in general) to be more self-governing, libertarian, etc; but holy crap. To give power to people who can’t get along with anyone who doesn’t fit their version of things or who think that women are brood mares or yadda yadda yadda. It’s terrifying. And it’s a real conundrum.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I would honestly be terrified if American citizens had this type of voting power. Some states allow direct democracy, California being one of them with ballot propositions in the form of referendums and initiatives, but I think they cause a lot of issues among the people. Props also require a certain number of signatures but the idea is that the law passes with the majority vote. It’s nowhere near as extreme as what’s happening in the UK. I guess one thing to consider is that the results of the referendum are not legally binding until Parliament passes the necessary laws to go through with the legal process to leave the EU. It’s still possible to see the results overturned but that would also depend on how those who were in favor of remaining voted the next time around. This is a very interesting political year with the US presidential election drama and now this.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I just want it to just stop with all the crazy!! Ugh. Really don’t want to have to move to Canada as it’s far too cold, except for maybe B.C. I hope the UK figures things out. My heart breaks for them.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Oh, I know. Canada is freezing. It’s beautiful but too cold. I was already planning on moving to Canada if we end up electing Trump. That really scares me. I can’t live here if that happens. People fight with each other all the time over the election and it’s months away. There are so many socioeconomic issues associated with the UK leaving the EU. I hope everything works out. Leaving the EU also affects their trade agreement with the US. There’s s lot of things to consider.

              Liked by 2 people

      2. Honestly this is getting into things I don’t understand very well, so I don’t know what to say.

        But about the racist part – a lot of people DID vote leave because they’re xenophobic, it’s all over social media and, as some people from Britain have pointed out to me, in real life as well; people screaming racial slurs and insulting people who voted remain by telling them really offensive, racist things. I understand that a part of the leave voters had good reasons, but a lot were just trying to get rid of immigration, and that’s made clear by the fact that after it was said that immigration isn’t going to change, they regretted voting leave.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah that makes sense, I wouldn’t expect there to be much understanding of what’s going on over here. It’s not even as simple as saying there are two sides to the debate- there are many more sides than that. Originally there were about three camps for leave, because they couldn’t agree on so many issues. And the Tories really struggled to work with Labour and the Lib Dems on the Remain side. And I’m not even counting the huge amount of euroscepticism that’s always existed on the left- a lot of those people refused to openly support the referendum based on it being run by the tories- but a lot of them voted for leave anyway. As I said, it’s complicated. There are lots of issues on both sides- to be honest, after days of nothing but talk about it, I’m a bit exhausted with it all. We don’t normally have referendums like this- strangely there have been 3 in the last few years- and before that there wasn’t one for about 30 years. Direct democracy is an interesting thing- and probably shouldn’t be used all the time- I’m certainly unsure as to whether this should ever have been an issue for the people to decide. But since we did have the referendum, I think ignoring the will of the people would not only be a dangerous thing, but a very very wrong thing. I think it’s interesting what you said about opposing Cameron- opposing the political class is why so many didn’t really care what was being said about the economic side of things- they’d been lied to for so long that they just didn’t care anymore.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I agree. I think you’re kind of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Direct democracy is not something we have at the federal level here in the US, which I’m honestly thankful for. Some things should not be left up to the public to decide.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry that you are feeling like this! One of my English friends said it gutted the country. Fatima already mentioned the 3 million signatures. From what I can tell, people are sick over it 😞. But fingers crossed. It does seem like the world is going crazy right now. Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK and Putin putting tanks and weapons in Nicaragua and N. Korea testing mid-range missiles. Sometimes it does feel really hard to handle *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words!
      The world does seem a little crazy right now, that’s true. But I try to tell myself that we’re smart enough to solve our problems and get over it in a few years. We’ll see if that’s true. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  9. I honestly don’t know too much about this whole thing but I was still really shocked to see that the ‘Leave’ vote had won. It’s especially disheartening because the younger generation is the one who could potentially have to live with this and the majority of ‘leave’ votes were from older people. I can’t imagine how everyone’s feeling!

    I’m really glad nothing’s changing with your studying situation and I hope things all settle down and work out for everyone in the UK and EU.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s