The UK education sector is in free fall

The UK education sector is in free fall

The UK education system has always been very popular internationally.

The excellence of many of its universities is still the envy of many other European universities and we always have several British universities on top lists.

Education at all levels had such a reputation that in many cases European economic elites sent their daughters and sons to one of the most prestigious educational centers…with the stroke of a checkbook.

Examples abound, and the Spanish Royal Family had a center in Wales to train the future Queen of Spain.

The public education system was another jewel in the crown, but at the university level, primary and secondary education, this sector is experiencing a crisis that can be largely attributed to the search for business models in its organizational structures.

The search for models halfway between the public and private sectors, the creation of consortia and academies to look for synergies and economies of scale, along with the treatment of faculty members, is leading the sector to collapse.

The difference between educational centers in the same city widens and when someone plans to move to a new home, the first thing they look at is that it is in the area opposite an excellent school, perpetuating social differences depending on how lucky you are to live in one zip code or another.

We have been hearing for weeks about the countless strikes by secondary school teachers, as well as by university professors.

If we compare the salaries between Spain and the United Kingdom, there are sectors such as a doctor who in the United Kingdom earn salaries that are several times higher than those in Spain.

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On the other hand, there is not much difference between nursing and teachers regarding salaries in our country, and working conditions are not much better either.

Retention of new teachers in the education sector is at an historically low level and routes of entry into the sector that are becoming increasingly economically attractive continue to be offered… But many candidates to become faculty never practice after graduation after seeing the working conditions and adding the pressures that many centers on the workforce.

The workload continues to increase, and in many centers the administrative burden outpace the teaching load in the work of teachers.

The level of demand for teachers is increasing and many teachers of modern languages ​​have to take charge of languages ​​over which they have no control, and on many occasions those who teach Spanish have to take accelerated courses in languages ​​such as French to fill gaps in their school teams, with the consequent damage on teaching students.

Many of the new academies are striving to have excellent financials and leave the quality of education too aside. Their goal is to expand to increase the size of the student body they serve, while seeing students as a means of acquiring resources.

There are surveys in the UK showing that 44% of teachers are considering leaving the profession in the next five years and the European worker trajectory has been nipped in the bud since Brexit.

Creativity and scholarship do not meet the demand of the sector and many professionals from other sectors are attracted to try to make the leap into teaching with little success in retaining these new teachers.

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The pressure in high school is high and this translates into worse outcomes for students and for many young people who decide to drop out at the first opportunity.

The post-Brexit university system has similar problems in terms of attracting talent to become part of its teaching teams, and the drop in students from the EU is evident.

A dead king laid … The gap left by European students, who paid university fees equal to their British counterparts, was filled by students coming mainly from Asia, although a large proportion of them did not possess the language skills which brought European citizens who, in turn, brought bags of money to British universities, paying about 3 times as much as British students.

This increase in more economic resources has an inversely proportional result in the quality of education provided.

Part of the classes should be used to repeat concepts that non-native students do not understand the first time, and in some professions British students complain to their teachers about the quality of their courses and the mismatch between the service they receive and the £9,000 a year they pay for a degree.

While management teams and their financial officers may celebrate the benefits in the short term, it remains to be seen what the long-term consequences of introducing university courses as more than half of students are still entering their studies are not much. Advantages, but to their family wealth.

The UK is not what it used to be and it will remain to be seen how they manage to maintain the privileged position they still hold today in areas such as research.

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At the CienciaUK 2023 Conference organized by Spanish Scientists UK and the Ramon Areces Foundation held on Friday 14th April in Madrid, it became clear that Brexit brought many challenges and despite trying to see the opportunities that might exist, these are the limit lowest.

UK researchers and professionals have explained the endless difficulties of attracting talent to the UK, and the difficulty of being able to offer Spanish students training opportunities in a country that until 2020 welcomed researchers from all over the world with open arms. …Maybe Spain can use this opportunity to attract the talent that has emigrated and start investing in the future of a country that is truly committed to progress.

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