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Sep 23, 2016 01:46 AM EDT

Brexit Backlash to Education in the UK: A New Types of Internationalization is Needed

The Prime Minister Holds A Cabinet Meeting At Chequers
British Prime Minister Theresa May holds a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's country retreat Chequers to discuss department-by-department Brexit action plans on August 31, 2016 near Aylesbury, England. The Prime Minister confirmed there would be no second referendum on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.
(Photo : Mark Richards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Brexit has gravely affected not only the economy of Britain but its education sector as well. This what educators from the EU and the UK learned and discussed during the 2016 European Association for International Education (EAIE) conference.

During the conference, delegates discussed that the sentiments the UK have behind Brexit are the same with some of their European counterparts - that there is always a debate even some EU nations whether they have to embrace globalization and its benefits or protect themselves against it. This fear comes from the notion that globalization might destroy their sense of nationhood.

The educators reached a consensus that in order to counter this fear, a new type of internationalization or globalization should be promoted. Where economy and income generation are the main focal points why globalization is good, the shift should focus more on diversity and inclusion. It should talk more about how internalization can foster mutual respect and understanding between nations without destroying their sense of nationhood.

The educators propose that higher education should be the trailblazer for this new kind of internationalization. However, in order to accomplish this kind of globalization, universities need to improve how they communicate this message to the public.

Internationalization also means borderless education which transcends the economic, political, and geographical divides. However, educators also acknowledge the fact that there are certain situations that prevent their efforts to operate globally.

One of these is academics being persecuted by their own governments which are afraid that the free exchange of ideas with other nations will destroy their regimes. Another problem that stops globalization in education is the lack of funding and support for higher education in some countries.

If this type of internalization that fosters equity and diversity will really come to pass, educators need to work hand-in-hand with each other in tackling these problems. Britain might eventually leave the EU but it should not stop educators from reaching these goals.

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