Why Students are worrying about a Brexit Vote

Will the Brexit Vote change UK/EU relations for the worse?

Photo by CC user Petr Kratochvil on PublicDomainPictures.net

Just over a week to go before the UK holds its referendum on the EU, both the In and the Out campaigns have been fighting their corners, with soundbites, statistics and as some feel scare stories as well as plenty of mudslinging. However according to research, 48% of university students feel neither campaign has given a clear answer as to how a Brexit vote will affect daily life. Furthermore, 64% of those students have concerns about travel and opportunities around Europe if we left the EU.

Unfortunately for many of these concerned students, neither campaign has given a clear answer as to what would happen if the UK left the EU. Neither the leave nor the stay campaigns have really answered any concerns people may have and the research suggests that 20% feel like their generation is being overlooked by this process. This is shocking really when you consider those currently studying at university are the UK’s future.

The research was conducted by money saving website My Voucher Codes who surveyed over 2,000 university students, asking: “How have you found the campaigns to stay or leave the EU?” Respondents could choose from a list of statements. The feedback from the students showed 48% felt that neither side of the campaign has given a clear answer on questions asked in the run up to the referendum. In addition:

  • There has not been enough information from either campaign on key issues – 38%
  • Neither campaign cares about the views of the younger generation nor engage with them – 20%
  • None of the arguments from either campaign are thought out – 18%

The students were also given opportunity to air their feelings on the subject:

Both campaigns seem inherently biased and it’s difficult to access impartial views”

There has been a lot of scaremongering however there has been no clear statistics as to what will happen with both sides using ambiguous stats to support their own argument”

Mudslinging campaigns that feel designed to discredit the other rather than reinforce their own argument although the in campaign feels more credible”

Staying or leaving the EU will have an effect on higher education in the UK, if we left there would probably be more consequences, the study asked the students taking part, what they would be most concerned about if the UK voted for Brexit. The majority of students (64%) were most concerned about travel around Europe becoming harder, the top 10 results showed:

  1. Harder to travel around Europe – 64%
  2. Harder to gain work in Europe – 49%
  3. Effect on employment after university – 46%
  4. Loss of funding for education from EU grants – 45%
  5. Making it harder to study in Europe – 41%
  6. Rises in interest rates of loans – 38%
  7. Harder for collaborations between UK and European universities – 28%
  8. Those from Europe facing higher fees to study in the UK – 17%
  9. Issues for EU nationals currently studying in UK – 15%
  10. Less protection for workers’ rights – 13%

Although for some traveling around Europe may seem trivial, however it’s not for students who tend to want to be more mobile than older generations. Nevertheless gaining work in Europe is also high on their list, we have heard scare stories that travel could be restricted even bringing in visas (although these were not necessary before we joined the EU) working could be trickier, as the UK looks to tighten its borders for workers in the EU coming to work in the UK, the EU could do the same to those from the UK looking to work in the EU.

Speaking about the study, General Manager of My Voucher Codes, Chris Reilly said:

“There are a number of key areas that students, currently studying at university, feel like they either have not been given enough information on the referendum or else been misinformed on it. Its deeply worrying that a large section of the electorate feel this way especially when it is them and future generations that will be most affected by the results. “

He added:

“It seems that both the ‘In’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns would rather push scare stories out than actually work on rational facts and seem to be in a game of mudsling with each other with personal attacks. No one appears to be taking the time to talk to and engage this group of voters. As we can see from our study, concerns from students have not been properly answered, and we can understand why they have felt frustrated with this process and worry about what the future holds, for them and every other person in the UK.”

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