Andrew Lennox, President, Glasgow School of English, Global School of English

Andrew Lennox, President, Glasgow School of English, Global School of English

What would an independent Scotland mean for Scottish Schools of English? (Part 1)

You will probably be aware that in Scotland we will have a referendum this September to decide if we should become an independent country.   What would that mean for study travel agents?  This, and a further article, will offer some answers, without, we trust, making any overtly political points.

The first – and rather obvious – thing to say is that we’ll still be speaking English in Scotland, even if we are no longer bound politically to England.  So no change there!

In addition, the reality is that unpicking the 300+ years of shared institutions and services will not happen overnight. Although the pro-independence movement has a timetable for making Scotland an independent country, it will take several years before there is actual separation from the rest of the UK.   So you can plan for at least 2015 and probably 2016, safe in the knowledge that nothing will change.

Study English in Scotland

Of course, if the ‘Better Together’ campaign wins and we remain part of the UK, then nothing changes anyway.

The opinion polls have consistently shown a lead for the unionists (i.e. those who want to remain part of the UK), and although their lead has been cut slightly, it remains generally constant and strong.  Most people will already know which way they will vote, so the battle for supremacy is only being fought over a relatively small number of undecided voters, albeit there are enough of them that if they all voted one way (in itself unlikely) they could change the result.

Thereafter, if Scotland does become independent, what happens is, despite the claims of the nationalists, by no means clear-cut.

However most of the key changes that will come about are actually of no real interest to any foreign students coming to study here.   Issues over the economy, social policy, our currency, defence, the monarchy, will all be resolved in due course but won’t make a difference to the average student.  So overall, our message, in the short-medium term at least, is ‘business as usual’!

More on this topic next week…

Andrew Lennox is President of IALC-accredited language schools: Glasgow School of English, Global School of English – Edinburgh and Hamilton School of English – Edinburgh.

About this blog

Members of IALC share their insights on the language travel industry. Contributors are owners, directors, managers, teachers or administrative staff of IALC-accredited language schools worldwide.

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