Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to our survey about the impact of the EU referendum on academics! Please click here if you would like to see the survey questions (opens .pdf). We’ve evaluated responses over the weekend and they make for a very interesting, relevant, and yes, also somewhat terrifying read in terms of the concerns expressed.
But first things first: we do not make a claim that our survey is scientifically robust – we know, of course, that we didn’t specify or in any way check respondents. This wasn’t a survey to be used in an academic paper, but simply a straightforward means for us to collect your views in a more organised way. The sole aim was to enable us to better understand your experiences of the EU referendum. And with that purpose in mind we decided early on that a survey based on trust (as opposed to vetting respondent credentials) would be sufficient, not least because of the timeframe. So yes: do take results with a pinch of salt. That’s fair enough. But results do very much mirror what we have been hearing via Twitter and email communications many times already, so we think results are very reflective of broader views. This holds true too in terms of age and gender, with both very evenly spread across groups (for gender: 50% male and 48% female).
So the basics: 173 people took our survey – we were quite blown away! Thanks again for taking the time. Of those respondents, 66% identified as British; the remaining 34% were primarily from continental Europe and comprised of: German (30%); Italian (26%); French (17%); Spanish (11%); with the remainder split essentially evenly across Swedish, Finish, Irish, Bulgarian, as well as Turkish, Indian, and Canadian. The majority of respondents, 73%, identified as academics employed at a university in the UK; up next were PhD students enrolled at a UK university with 16%; for a full breakdown click here. Among academics working at a university, 33% are professors, 20% Senior Lecturers and 18% in other roles (e.g. Teaching Fellows or Research Assistants); please click here for the full breakdown.
At the heart of our survey were two questions:
- Question 6: Are you concerned about the EU referendum?
- and Question 8: One issue we have been hearing a lot recently is academics considering leaving the UK in case of Brexit. Is this something you have thought about?
Results for question 6 reveal concerns across all three areas examined: general concerns; specific concerns regards issues such as personal finances; and specific concerns in relation to HE.
We will explore specific concerns expressed on the next page, suffice it to say here that the overwhelming picture is one of significant concerns at all levels, but particularly in terms of wider impact on the economy/society, and specific impacts in HE.
Question 8 was one we wanted to ask given the high number of times the question of “leave UK if it’s leave EU” came up in informal discussions. Our survey documents that that sentiment runs deep: the majority of respondents, 39%, noted that they are thinking about this as a possibility ‘quite a lot’, while another 32% are thinking about it ‘a little’. Only 14% are not thinking about it at all, with the remainder ‘not really’ thinking about it. Again we’ll expand on reasons on the next page.
Finally, we were also interested to learn respondents’ eligibility to vote, whether they would vote if they can, and their voting intention. In terms of eligibility the split is, essentially, along nationality lines as identified above, so 66% are eligible to vote. Of these 100% say that they will make use of their vote – which is great, it’s such an important question! And, as we’re Academics FOR Europe, oh how we’d love it if our result was the actual referendum result: our survey vote goes to remain with a whopping 95%.
READ MORE ON PAGE TWO of our survey analysis, where we explore your concerns in more detail.