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Student panic over possible Brexit

Students are worried about a possible Brexit

Photo by CC user jeffdjevdet on Flickr

A current hot topic in the UK is the EU Referendum vote, there are two campaigns the ‘In’ campaign which obviously wants the UK to remain in the EU and the ‘Out’ campaign which wants the UK to leave the EU. Both sides have been working hard to persuade the UK electorate to get out and vote, whether it’s to remain in or go out. However one group feel like their concerns and questions have not been answered by either campaign nor do they feel like both sides are giving a lot of miss information.

University students are feeling maligned by the EU referendum, research conducted by My Voucher Codes shows that 64% worry about what will happen if we leave the EU, whether it will be harder to travel and work around Europe and what effect it will have on jobs in the UK. Students also felt that there has not been enough information from either campaign on key issues, nor has either campaign shown any thought out arguments and most importantly students felt that neither campaign cares about the views of the younger generation nor engage with them. You can read the full results from the survey of students here.

The students spoke of their concerns:

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”

As the cost of attending university and forging ahead with further education increases, it’s understandable that students are worried about the effects if we left the EU, there would be loss of funding from EU grants that universities receive, also collaborations between UK and EU universities could also be complicated or stopped. In addition foreign students studying here in the UK could also suffer as well as British students studying abroad who could easily see higher fees.

Looking after university students were also worried about job prospects and workers’ rights. Currently worker’s right protection laws in the UK have come from EU ruling such as the working time directive and holiday, maternity and sickness rights, however the out party have not said whether these will be kept or if the government will pander to big business and scrap worker protection. Prospects for jobs in the UK isn’t easy either whether you hold a degree or not and with mounting debts leavers will not want to see a loss of jobs if we leave the EU.

Why students need to be more involved with global events


Global events like the Syrian Civil War could be tackled more effectively by greater awareness by the current young generation ... photo by CC user Voice of America News via public domain

We live in an ever-shrinking world. The dawn of the internet age has made physical boundaries redundant. In this age of global connectivity, it is important for the youth to be both aware of and involved in global events. Active connectivity is almost a prerequisite in today’s business environment. Companies are increasingly looking to hire people who are comfortable being globally networked. Working in transnational teams is the order of the day.

Comfort in dealing with disparate cultures comes from an open mind and the curiosity to learn. It’s easier to relate to someone halfway around the globe, when you are aware of the local culture and current news. Most US universities offer opportunities to participate in global events. This is offered through various global classroom programs as well as volunteer schemes and other International Outreach Programs. Whether it is volunteering for an event like the Olympics or a regional conference on climate control, student life offers you the opportunity to interact and learn on a global scale.

A simple way to check how globally aware you are, is to answer the following question ‘name the current top 5 international crises’. If you struggle to get beyond the crisis in Syria, then you need to work on your awareness and connectivity. Apart from International Outreach programs at Universities there are a host of avenues online like the Global Lounge Network.

When a global crisis strikes, men like Najib Mikati step forward and shoulder the responsibility of easing the crisis. Najib Mikati is a Lebanese politician who has twice served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon, for five weeks in 2005 and then from 2011-14. Najib started his career as a businessman and founded the telecommunications company Investcom in 1982. He sold Investcom to South African telecom giant MTN for $5.5 billion in 2006. In politics he was the minister for public works and transport from December 1998 to 2000. He is credited with creating a centrist and reformist mainstream in Lebanese politics. He is an ardent supporter of getting students involved in political activities. You can catch up with updates on Najib Mikati here.

Young men and women have the creativity, potential and capacity to make changes on a global scale. Getting involved in global events as a volunteer is just one way to learn and broaden your horizons. Increasingly companies are looking to hire young people who have a global perspective and those who are able to fit into and work in global teams.

To answer the earlier question on the top 5 crisis, the Middle East continues to be the biggest flash point where the 4-year-old civil war rages on in Syria. 3.3 million people, including 1.7 million children have fled the country. This conflict has spilled over into neighboring Iraq, already ravaged by conflict. The Russian-Ukrainian face-off continues to keep the possibility of an all-out war simmering. The outbreak of Ebola across West Africa has already caused over 7,000 deaths in Sierra Leone and Liberia.