The media and the press have bashed us with endless sequences of statistics and figures about the loss of fee revenues and research funding universities would incur as the result of a Brexit. There is no doubt that this is a real threat for the health of the British Higher Education system, but when thinking education we should not focus exclusively on money matters: quality is the real concern. I am an immigrant academic, who had to compete to secure an academic job in the UK. More than that, I am the teacher of a large and internationally diverse group of students, and I can appreciate the benefits of working in an internationalised campus environment. In this post I will argue that competition among academics, and diversity within the student population, are the key determinants of quality and excellence of the British Higher Education system. Brexit is a threat to such excellence, and here are the reasons why. Continue reading “Higher Education and Brexit: It is not just about the money”
I believe this is likely, in part because of the simple calculus of cost benefit analysis that may favour Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, but in part also because the EU may offer such favourable terms to Scotland to join them, not necessarily because it makes economic sense for the EU to do so, but because punishment is a behavioural phenomenon that we often see in our experiments. I explain these below.
I’ve been following the discussion of the various costs (or benefits) for the UK of leaving the EU for a while now. I follow them as a not entirely disinterested outsider: I am not eligible to vote in the upcoming referendum on 23 June, but I am a citizen of another European country and can expect to be affected by the vote’s outcome.
Much has already been written about the potential effects of Brexit on both the British economy as well as the rest of the world, vis-à-vis effects on immigration, employment, wages, inflation, investment, growth and so forth, and by now we know that either the sky is going to fall or it will be like manna falling from the sky. Definitely one of those two. Reality however is a bit more nuanced, and what follows may be sector specific and depend on the regulations and terms that are negotiated upon exit. Post exit, will the UK be on its own in terms of trade agreements with the rest of the world, or will it, like Norway, be able to enjoy benefits of a single market by entering into European Economic Area (EEA)? Not to be gauche, how does it affect the price of my medicines here in the UK? While the Farage v. Cameron debate rages on, in this blog I give example from just one sector – pharmaceuticals – to discuss how prices of branded drugs, which include new and important therapies, may increase due to various trade agreements post Brexit.
Like everything in Britain, the Brexit debate is all about class. Riffing off Nancy Mitford’s famous distinction between “U” (posh) and “non-U” (vulgar), Harry Mount in the Sunday Times divided the voters up into “EU” and “non-EU”. There’s the sophisticated, well-travelled, culturally open remainers. Then there’s the salt-of-the-earth Brexiteers, who get regarded a bit like the citizens of Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles: “just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”