On Friday morning it was announced that the UK had voted to leave the European Union (EU).
On the same morning we contacted the nominated representative of all member centres, published and distributed a statement calling on the UK Government to support UK ELT as it builds the UK's post-EU international trade and influence; emailed our entire agent contact list; and reassured students via our website and social media, that students are still welcome in the UK after the result of the EU referendum. We are also working on a frequently asked questions tool for members, students and agents.
A new relationship with the EU will be established and a deal will be negotiated with European leaders, which must preserve the ability of UK ELT to trade easily with EU member states. The EU will undoubtedly continue to be our biggest trading partner, and the UK the first destination for many EU students when they plan their English language studies.
We will continue to urge the government to remember that while there has been a great deal of debate about immigration, the majority of people in the UK do not classify students as migrants and that our sector brings significant soft power benefits to the UK, as well as contributing £1.2bn to the economy and supporting over 26,000 jobs.
All of this will become increasingly important once the UK is outside the EU.
UK ELT needs more support from our government to halt further loss of business to our overseas competitors, many supported by their own governments. We will lobby to ensure our sector's voice is heard as the UK government considers future visa arrangements and trade deals.
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