Students of the British School of Valencia./ Photo: BSValencia
Eduardo González. 13/11/2017
The British exit from the European Union could lead to consequences in the long term for education both in Spain and the United Kingdom and, in particular, for the teaching of English in our country, according to the report.
At the moment, there are around 120 British schools in Spain that teach approximately 50,000 students and employ several thousands of teachers. Furthermore, in our country, there are around 4,000 English academies, each one of which employs several teachers from the United Kingdom.
According to a report spread at the beginning of November by the organization Eurocitizens, dedicated to the defence of British rights in Spain and Spanish rights in the United Kingdom, the exit of the EU entails the possibility of native teachers from the UK being asked to have work permits, which they have not needed until now as citizens of the EU.
These problems would be especially important for British Schools (generally associated to the British Council in Spain and to the Council of British International Schools and the European Council of International Schools) and for English Academies owned by the UK.
Native teachers will need work permits and university fees for Spanish students may triple
Moreover, both schools and parents of students have expressed their concern about the new way of validating the grading system in the United Kingdom that replaces the current model based on the EU and also about the need to validate that new British grading system in Spain, something that does not exist in the Spanish legislation now, inspired by the European.
Furthermore, the Brexit could also affect the payment of fees to be paid by students enrolled in British schools in Spain to access any university of the United Kingdom. In case of exit from the EU, the United Kingdom could stop benefiting European students with the so-called Home Student Status, which establishes the reduction of university fees, on an equal footing, for British citizens and those of the rest of the European Union.
Unless an agreement is reached, those EU students enrolled should pay the fees for those outside the European Union, which would mean, on average, an increase of between 10,000 and 30,000 euros per academic year.
However, the report does not affirm that the Brexit is going to excessively affect the exchange of students through the Erasmus Programme, thanks to which around 5,000 Spanish study in the United Kingdom every year, although it admits that “it is unlikely to continue in the same way and with the same extension it has had until now”. Membership of the EU is not a requirement to participate in the Erasmus Programme, which also includes the youth of countries outside the European Union such as Norway, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Iceland or Macedonia.