Colleges and universities across the United Kingdom warn that in the wake of Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union they may be forced to saddle students with higher tuition bills in order to plug funding gaps caused by the economic shake-up.
This is not the first time that Britain’s prestigious higher education system has stood against the country abandoning their place in Europe with about 80% of universities issuing a joint appeal to "Remain" in the 28-country bloc citing concerns that the vote may ultimately lead to decreased enrollment rates from other European countries and may force the universities to increase tuition rates for students from both the UK and the rest of Europe.
Students from other EU member states studying abroad in Britain appear likely to be the hardest hit.
Undergraduate tuition and fees for British and EU students are capped at an already egregious maximum amount of £9,000 ($12,000), but for international students studying at British universities face tuition and fees that sometimes exceed £37,100 ($50,000) per year stacking up with some of the United States most expensive universities.
Currently there are 125,000 such students from European countries studying in the UK, or about 5.5% of the total population, and the proportion is much higher at some universities such as Cambridge where 16% of students are from other EU states.
However, with European students now facing the specter of a life-time of college debt only rivalled by the plight of American students even top-10 universities worldwide such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College London now worry that they will not be able to retain incoming students and will lose prospective students.
The drop off in foreign students is likely to have a bounce back effect forcing the country’s universities to charge British students up to the £9,000 cap and lobby for an even higher bar in the years to come, or begin to drain university endowment programs.
Europeans students also find themselves disgusted with the dramatic turn in cultural values by the British people which may also impact the number of students who consider spending their money at a university in the UK.
"I cherish European values," said Bettina Sakiotis, a 17-year-old Greek living in Luxembourg who has been offered a place by two English universities starting in October. "Voting for Brexit shows that we are not on the same page."
It seems once again that a foolish decision by the older generation will once again shape the future of their children and probably not for the better.