AGCAS response to the EU referendum
Following last week's EU referendum outcome, the role of AGCAS member services in providing high-quality information, advice and guidance to students and graduates, and delivering support to employers and academics, is more important than ever to ensure our students and graduates develop the skills and attributes needed to navigate an uncertain and potentially changing jobs market.
As a community, we must prepare for the uncertainty and potential changes in the graduate labour market. It is imperative that we continue to communicate with employers about student and graduate opportunities at a time when many are unsure of the future implications for their workforce. There will be additional pressures on careers services to stay informed about the impact of changes on opportunities available to graduates at a local, regional, national and international level.
While we don’t yet know the implications for our UK students in terms of opportunities to undertake part of their studies abroad or work abroad in the summer, in the short term indications are that access to EU work and study placements, and ERASMUS, will not change. AGCAS will work with our member services, their institutions and others within the HE and employer communities to ensure that leaving the EU does not damage the chances of our UK students and graduates of gaining the wider commercial and international awareness so prized by employers.
EU students play a key role in supporting the on-campus internationalisation strategies of UK higher education institutions, giving students exposure to other cultures and supporting UK students' development of cultural capital, which is increasingly demanded by employers. EU students also provide an important talent pipeline for several sectors with skill shortages, such as engineering. Although we do not yet know the long term impact for our EU students and graduates, there is no indication of changes to the fee status for current EU students and those starting in 2016/17. At this point, the impact of leaving the EU on European student and graduate perceptions is unclear. AGCAS, our member services, their institutions and others within the HE community will be working to gain clarity on all of these issues.
At present, the potential financial implications for universities are not clear. The potential loss of EU research funding and EU student tuition fees could result in significant consequences for members and we are aware of the anxiety this may be causing.
In terms of AGCAS member services' work with students, in the short and medium term we are anticipating an increased focus on:
• informing and reassuring students about probable instability and definite uncertainty over the next couple of years;
• promoting and supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship;
• promoting the international agenda, specifically the importance of global awareness and global skills in graduate employment;
• reassuring students that universities will continue to help prepare them for employment in whatever context.
Throughout the transition period, AGCAS will work with members, their institutions, the wider higher education community and employers to ensure the best outcomes for graduates of UK higher education.
Created on: 27 June 2016
Last updated: 27 June 2016