Dear students, ex-students, agents and prospective customers,
Some of our agents have been worried that the ‘Brexit’ process, the UK leaving the EU, means that they are not welcome in the UK any more.
There is absolutely no need to worry. And in fact Brexit carries one major benefit to foreign students at the moment, but I shall come back to that.
First, are foreign students welcome here? The short answer is yes. The UK is a major destination for students and will remain one for the foreseeable future. Education is one of the UK’s major exports. The status of student visas is being debated in parliament at the moment, with many MPs (members of parliament) arguing for a better and more simple visa process.
As for LanguageUK, we have always and will always welcome foreign students. All of our staff have worked abroad and enjoy travel and meeting people from different cultures. Most of us have worked in the English teaching industry for 20 years or more. At the moment we are in talks with the owners of the school to upgrade facilities, and we have also recently added a variety of courses to our website, in response to customer demand for more specialist and intensive courses.
English teaching is a major employer in our area of Kent, contributing about £44m to the Thanet economy annually. The local schools, LanguageUK included, meet at least four times a year, together with representatives of local government and the police, to share experiences and try and improve the attractions of this area for foreign students. At the moment for example we are in discussion with the local government (Thanet District Council), about training staff at local attractions to deal more efficiently and understandingly with foreign students. We also communicate with our Thanet member of Parliament, who has expressed an interest in helping us to make Thanet an even more attractice destination for foreign students.
And now for the big advantage of Brexit for you as a potential student: in a word, it is the cheap pound. At the moment the British pound sterling (£) is very low against the Euro and other major currencies, especially the American dollar. It is now cheaper than for many years to visit the UK and improve your English. Added to that, our local area is undergoing a ‘renaissance’ with new shops, restaurants and entertainment venues opening in Margate, a good music scene and more and more local festivals. London too is enjoying a period of economic and cultural expansion and the train connection from Thanet is about to get faster.
So, the message is, welcome to the UK, when are you arriving?