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UK: int’l students top NUS’s Brexit platform

Around two thirds of students want to vote on the terms of the Brexit deal, according to a survey by the National Union of Students.

A handful of anti-Brexit protests have taken place across London since the vote was cast. Photo: flickr/sgoldswo

"The way we rise to these challenges will shape the future of our sector and our society for years to come"

The union has placed ensuring international students are welcome in the UK as a top priority in its Brexit negotiations campaign.

The survey, which was conducted this month, found that out of 2,685 students between the ages of 16-24, 63% said they would like a referendum on the terms of the UK exiting the European Union.

Following the prime minister’s decision to trigger Article 50 last month, the union set out four priorities for education which it will push for in the run up to the negotiations, with safeguarding entry for international students topping the list.

“We are fighting to shape the terms on which Brexit takes place”

“A hard Brexit will continue the hostile approach to international students, who have become easy targets – both on campuses and through government policies,” the statement said.

“We believe urgent action is needed to show that international students are welcome.”

The deal must also provide clarity for EU nationals, according to NUS, and maintain student mobility.

“The Erasmus program or alternative programs like it should be a priority in negotiations,” said the statement.

“For Britain to develop a “truly global” approach we will need internationally literate graduates.”

The fourth priority is to preserve UK-EU academic collaboration.

Malia Bouattia, president of NUS, said the union is committed to making sure students do not suffer as a result of the referendum result.

“We are fighting to shape the terms on which Brexit takes place,” she said. “This comes with a certain difficulty, because of the lack of clarity coming from Westminster, but it is our collective task as a movement to fight for better education, to fight for students, for migrants, and for all those who are faced with adverse circumstances.”

“The way we rise to these challenges will shape the future of our sector and our society for years to come.”

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