News & Insights

Expat exodus causing a major problem for British universities

What is the Brexit brain drain?

The term simply refers to talented non UK citizens who are working in the country and who are now leaving because they are uncertain if they’ll have a future in the country after Brexit. And when they go, they will leave a big hole in the sectors to which they have contributed. Jonathan Beech, managing director of immigration law firm Migrate UK, has warned that the IT, finance, and engineering sectors are among the most likely to experience a drainage of expertise.

One sector in particular has already seen a mass exodus – education.

According to data released under the Freedom of Information Act, more than 1,300 academics left British universities in the last year – that’s an increase of 30 per cent in departures of EU staff.

The figures, which it should be noted do not account for new EU staff arriving, show that some of the UK’s top educational institutions are among the most affected. Cambridge lost 184 staff (an increase of 35 per cent from 2014-15) and Edinburgh lost 96 staff (an increase of 62 per cent).

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities and has found in a recent analysis that 23 per cent of all academics are from other EU countries. As has become clear, British educational institutions are largely dependent on gifted individuals immigrating to the UK.

Highlighting international students and teachers as the “number one Brexit priority bar none”, the Russell Group’s acting director, Tim Bradshaw, has called on the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens as soon as possible.

“Students, lecturers, researchers and professional services staff from across Europe have helped make our higher education sector a world leader,” Bradshaw said. “We need an immigration system that lets us recruit and retain the best minds from around the globe.”

Taking the talent back

As for those leaving, their talents will of course go elsewhere, and some areas are using this as an opportunity to attract back those they lost to the UK. For instance, Spain’s Basque Country.

Located in Northern Spain, the Basque Country is one of Spain’s most thriving regions. When high level Spanish unemployment descended , young graduates – many with science, technology, and engineering qualifications – left to find work in more stable environments. Many ended up in the UK, where workers with skills in those sectors are much needed. But now Brexit, as well as the strengthening Spanish economy, has led to experts believing that Basque natives may well return home.

Ivan Jimenez, the head of Bizkaia Talent, an organisation aiming to retain talent in the Basque Country, believes this to be the case.

“What I see clearly is that [Brexit] is accelerating the process to come back,” Jimenez said. “Even if people have already thought about it, those people who have been in the UK for eight to ten years are saying OK, now that’s enough.”

Of course, the reverse is also true, with talented British expats unsure whether they’ll be able to continue living and working overseas after Brexit and some countries have tried to prevent young British expats who work and contribute to their economy from leaving.

For instance, the German Vice President Sigmar Gabriel, realising that it was mainly older voters who voted Leave in last year’s referendum, has campaigned for Germany to offer dual citizenship to young Britons who voted to stay in the EU. Currently, anyone applying for German citizenship must renounce their old citizenship, but Gabriel thinks the time has come for this change and to look at citizenship on a case-by-case basis, saying, “We shouldn’t just pull up the drawbridge. Europe is the best place in the world for freedom, democracy and the chance of social progress.”

How can the UK block the brain drain?

It’s important for the new British government, if they do not want to continue losing the many highly skilled EU citizens, to adopt a similar attitude and show support and respect to those whose futures are still lying in the balance.

In the meantime, if you are an expat considering your future, having strong financial health is always vital. While Brexit has and will continue to create many uncertainties for both UK expats living in EU member countries and EU expats living in the UK, you can at least be sure your finances are in the best position possible by receiving bespoke expat financial services.

Blacktower’s financial advisers offer a range of expat financial services, including help with effective tax planning and advice during Brexit, to help you safeguard your future as much as possible.

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Other News

FCA and TPR Join Forces to Improve Outcomes

This month the two main pensions regulatory bodies, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR), announced that they have joined forces to improve the prospects of retirees and pension savers. Previously, the two have worked together in an attempt to protect savers from pension scams.

The fact that the two regulators are thinking big by developing a strategy for the next five to ten years is good news as it gives some time for objectives to be fully understood and reached, and the published strategy will hopefully lead to greater numbers of savers having sufficient income once they reach retirement.

Initially, the two regulators oversaw a comprehensive review of the consumer pensions experience – particularly regarding how and why savers make the decisions they do. The published strategy now seeks to encourage pension providers to increase value for money, with an enforcement of standards and principles amongst the pension industry a key component of this aim.

Read More

News Wrap – APP Scams Guidance

Phone ScamsThe Treasury Select Committee has called on financial services providers to reimburse individuals who have lost money as a result of authorised push payment (APP) fraud, with MPs telling banks that they must implement adequate fraud measures by March 2020 or face sanctions from the regulators.

For example, UK Finance, a trade association for the banking and financial services industry, reports that during the first half of 2019 close to £616 million was stolen from banking customers during financial transactions on payment cards, remote banking and cheque transactions in the UK, with £207.5 million of this defrauded through APP scams.*

Read More

Select your country

Please select your country of residence so we can provide you with the most relevant information:

You are currently viewing the Blacktower Financial Management EU website.

You may be looking for the Blacktower United States website.

Blacktower United States > X Stay on this site

Or choose your country.