LUU LEADERSHIP RACE: Education after Brexit – the show must go on

Dru Lawson is running for Education Officer, here are his views on how our education at the University of Leeds can still thrive after Brexit.

You’ve probably heard (and are sick of hearing about) a little thing called the EU referendum. So am I. But the truth is that whether we like it or not, Brexit is going to have far reaching and severe effects on our education, our funding and our opportunities. This doesn’t just apply to students from the EU, or those who use/will use the Erasmus programme – research funding for STEM subjects is under threat and in a recent survey for UCU, more than two fifths of academics expressed an increased interest in leaving the UK as a result of the vote.

It’s clear from the above that Brexit is not good for our education. But we didn’t vote for this. The city of Leeds did not vote leave. People under the age of 25, a group into which most students fit, voted overwhelmingly in favour of remain. And the single biggest factor correlated with voting choice was a voter’s level of education, with graduates several times more likely to vote remain3.

Contrary to what someone said to me on Twitter recently, I am not pledging to reverse the result of the referendum if elected. If Theresa May is happy to ignore the feelings of 16M who voted remain, I don’t think a call from Dru at LUU is going to change her mind.

However, there is a lot to be said for how we can work with and pressure the University to provide extra support and information to those who are going to need it – from languages students, to our students on Erasmus and students from the EU. There is a lot to be said for working with and pressuring the university to protect or find innovative new ways of funding – so your education and your opportunities don’t suffer. And there is a lot to be said for working with the Execs of other unions, the NUS and universities to campaign and lobby for our education, our funding and our opportunities to be protected during the Brexit process.

Brexit threatens the quality of our education, the availability of funding and the range of opportunities we have at the University of Leeds. If elected I will fight to defend those and provide extra support and information where it’d needed.

Dru Lawson, running for Education Officer.

(Image courtesy of CNBC)


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