Britain’s vote for Brexit may have happened over two years ago, yet it’s only now the damage it will cause is being fully realised. Sadly, if the UK does go ahead with this disastrous decision there will be many consequences, none good for UK or foreign students.
On June 26th 2016, the day after Britain voted by a small margin for Brexit, political journalist and author Andrew Rawnsley wrote, “I hope I’m wrong to think that Britain has made a choice that will have very bad consequence, because I don’t wish disaster on my country.” Fast forward nearly two and a half years and it’s becoming ever clearer that Rawnsley’s worst fears have come true.
Hardly a day passes without news of the dystopian-like consequence of the greatest self-inflicted disaster in modern British history. While it’s sad to see Britain do this to itself, it’s also sad for postgraduate students who’d been thinking of going to the UK to complete their studies.
Happily, there is another option and one that beats Brexit Britain in many ways. Say hello to Finland.
What Brexit means for quality of life
Studying is challenging enough without the added stress of living in a country struggling to deal with a crisis that seems sure to lead to huge disruption. According to the International Policy Digest— even in the best-case scenario—the Brexit Britain economy will “take a nose dive”.
In short, this means declining economic security, a rise in unemployment and reduced public services. Sadly, this will inevitably affect student life for the worse.
How does Finland compare?
In comparison, in 2018 The UN’s World Happiness Report ranked Finland the happiest country, as measured by metrics like income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. What’s more, it also has the happiest immigrants, too.
This doubtless has something to do with feeling secure in your surroundings. In that area, Finland’s got you covered too. Indeed, the World Economic Forum named Finland the safest country on earth (the UK was a lowly 78th) and the Legatum Prosperity Index 2017 ranked Finland as the world’s best governed country.
Add to this the fact that 70% of Finns speak English as a second language and that Finland ranked 4th in the EU in English proficiency and you can see why you’ll feel right at home.
What does Brexit mean for quality of education?
The UK has a long and proud tradition of education, spanning back almost a thousand years. It has some of the world’s most prestigious universities and a wide selection of courses.
However, Brexit is undoubtedly going to damage the UK’s education system. Take research funding. The UK is currently the second largest recipient of competitive research funding from the EU (after Germany).
What’s more, 17% of UK higher education academic staff and 6% of non-academic staff are from EU countries. Both this funding and the academics themselves are likely to disappear.
How does Finland compare?
While Finland doesn’t have such a long tradition it is, nonetheless, considered one of the world’s leading educational innovators. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018, Finland’s quality of higher education is the third best in the world.
It’s also very forward-looking. The Worldwide Educating for the Future Index also ranks Finland third for meeting the future needs of the world. It’s for this reason Finnish universities’ promise to Masters students is that you can “come as you are, leave qualified for life.”
With such an impressive pedigree of technology — think Nokia, Rovio and Supercell— it may come as less of a surprise that Finland has been ranked #1 in Europe for digital skills, according to the European Commission. And if all these accolades aren’t enough to persuade you, remember that thanks to the EU’s Erasmus programme, all Masters degree students can participate in exchange programs in other countries for up to 12 months.
So, there you have it. Some very, very compelling reasons why — if you’re worried about Brexit Britain ruining your higher education—Finland should be top of your list of alternative destinations.
Needless to say, there’s plenty more that Finland has to offer, from fun student traditions to breath-taking nature, and, of course, the joys of sauna. So, what are you waiting for? Apply to study in super Suomi today.
Learn more about studying in Finland
Finland University serves as a gateway to one of the finest Finnish multidisciplinary Universities on offer. If you are interested in studying in Finland and would like to find out more, the downloadable Finland University guide provides a quick starting package about how to apply for International Master’s Degree Programmes and Scholarships at the member universities of Finland University.
Interested? Download the guide and learn more!