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The Impact of Brexit on Teaching Opportunities for Overseas Educators

  • Publish Date: Posted 7 months ago
  • Author: Katie Washington

Brexit, a term that became a vital point in European politics, signifies the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union. This historic event, completed after years of negotiations and debates in 2020, has reshaped various sectors, including education. 

However, one significant aspect under scrutiny is Brexit's impact on overseas educators' teaching opportunities. As the UK redefines its relationship with the world, these teachers face new challenges and opportunities. 

In this article, we will go into how Brexit has changed the environment for overseas teachers seeking opportunities in the UK. 

Let’s get in!

The Pre-Brexit Scenario for Overseas Educators

Before Brexit, the United Kingdom presented a flourishing environment for overseas teachers, with abundant opportunities and a welcoming environment. As a member of the European Union, the UK was part of a system that favored the free movement of professionals, including teachers, across borders. 

This ease of movement and minimal bureaucratic hurdles made the UK an attractive destination for teachers from Europe and beyond. However, the diverse educational environment, high standards, and the need for specialized skills in various subjects further enhanced the appeal, making the UK a hub for international teaching talent.

Immediate Aftermath of Brexit

In the immediate aftermath of Brexit, the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union brought about significant policy shifts. Key changes included alterations in immigration laws and work permit requirements, directly impacting the ease of securing teaching positions for overseas educators. 

However, the transition period saw a marked decrease in the influx of new international teachers, with some reports indicating a decline of up to 20% in applications from EU educators in the year following Brexit.

Challenges Faced by Teachers and Institutions

The sudden policy changes led to a state of uncertainty and confusion among educators and educational institutions. Many overseas teachers found themselves confused with new, more strict visa requirements. 

Additionally, educational institutions, accustomed to a broader pool of candidates, faced challenges in filling teaching positions, particularly in specialized subjects. 

This period saw major disruptive conditions as compared to the previously smooth exchange of teaching talent across EU borders.

Long-term Effects of Brexit on Teaching Opportunities

Here are the long-term effects of Brexit on teaching opportunities:

  1. New Visa and Work Permit Regulations

Post-Brexit, the UK introduced more strict visa regulations and work permit requirements for non-UK residents. Overseas teachers now face a more complex process involving points-based assessments and sponsorship from educational institutions. 

This has significantly increased the paperwork and preparation time required to secure UK teaching positions.

  1. Altered Demand for Overseas Teachers

The demand for overseas educators in the UK has seen a noticeable shift. Certain subject areas, especially those facing a shortage of local teachers, still present opportunities. 

However, in other areas, preference is increasingly given to UK-based teachers due to the reduced complexities in hiring. This has led to a more competitive job market for overseas candidates.

  1. Institutional Adjustments

Educational institutions in the UK have had to adjust to these changes. Many universities and schools are re-evaluating their hiring practices, with some reducing their reliance on overseas teachers. 

This has implications for curriculum diversity and the availability of specialized courses traditionally taught by teachers from various international backgrounds. These adjustments are reshaping the UK's educational environment, affecting teachers and students.


In conclusion, Brexit has notably reshaped the education industry for overseas educators seeking opportunities in the UK. While it presents new challenges, particularly in visa regulations and job availability, it also opens opportunities for adaptation and growth.