TIP >> Practice skimming by reading articles, reviews and summaries to get the main idea. Choose content that interests you, not only IELTS practice materials.
Skim the following article from The Guardian and answer the question.
Question (Multiple Choice)
What does the author want to communicate to the reader?
Choose one letter A-D
A. the Brexit is to blame for many people leaving Britain
B. many Academics are leaving Universities in the EU which concerns officials
C. the government are trying to recruit Academics from outside of the UK
D. the rights of Academics in the EU
Fear of Brexit brain drain as EU nationals leave British universities
More than 1,300 academics from the European Union have left British universities in the past year, prompting concerns of a Brexit brain drain.
There has been a 30% rise in departures of EU staff in just two years, according to data released by dozens of universities under the Freedom of Information Act.
Among those universities most affected were Cambridge, which lost 184 staff in the past year, up 35% on 2014-15, and Edinburgh, which lost 96 EU staff, up from 62 in 2014-15. However, the figures do not take into account new staff arriving from the EU.
The 64 universities that offered a figure for the past year said that 1,393 EU staff were leaving. While many will leave as part of natural turnover, it has prompted concerns that the government’s refusal to guarantee the rights of EU nationals is having an adverse effect on their ability to retain staff.
A recent analysis by the Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s leading universities, found that there are 24,860 members of staff from other EU countries at UK universities, making up 23% of all academics.
Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the University and College Union, said: “These findings are worrying and highlight how damaging the government’s refusal to guarantee the rights of EU staff can be. Theresa May may wish to style herself as the strong and stable candidate, but she is creating dangerous insecurity in our universities.
“By its very nature, higher education is international, and the exchange of knowledge across borders is critical to its success. If we are to preserve our global reputation for excellence, our universities must be unencumbered when it comes to attracting and retaining overseas staff and students.”
Tim Bradshaw, the Russell Group’s acting director, also called for reassurances. “Students, lecturers, researchers and professional services staff from across Europe have helped make our higher education sector a world leader,” he said. “We want them to stay after the UK leaves the EU. We need an immigration system that lets us recruit and retain the best minds from around the globe.
Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the University and College Union, says Theresa May is creating ‘dangerous insecurity’ in universities. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
“We have called on the government to guarantee that EU citizens living and working in the UK will be able to stay and the rights they have at present will be respected. International staff and students are our number one Brexit priority bar none.”
Julian Huppert, an academic and Liberal Democrat candidate for Cambridge who compiled the data on the departure of EU academics, said Brexit risked leading to a “sharp rise” in people from Europe leaving.
“Theresa May bears some responsibility, for pursuing an extreme version of Brexit that will rupture our ties with Europe and fail to guarantee the rights of EU nationals,” he said. “But Labour’s refusal to back free movement, instead of giving their backing to May over Article 50, means that there is no comfort there.
“Lib Dems will stand up for the rights of EU citizens and give people the final say, with a chance to reject a bad Brexit deal and remain in the EU.”
Universities minister Jo Johnson said that throughout the Brexit process, the Tories would “ensure the UK remains the go-to place for scientists and innovators, securing the status of EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU and increasing spending on R&D”.
“Theresa May has a plan to make a success of leaving the EU so our world-leading universities continue to thrive,” he said. “All the Lib Dems offer is Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, in a coalition of chaos that would disrupt the Brexit negotiations and put our future at risk.”
Answer at the bottom of the page.
- Read the instructions before you start reading the questions or the text.
- Read the questions.
- Skim the text and look for the main idea.
- Choose your answers through an elimination process. Which ones do not fit? Which ones can you dismiss? Don’t be fooled by the answers that use the same words as the text.
- What is the title given to the article?
- Where was this article sourced from?
- What do you think the article could be about from the title?
- Read quickly and don’t pay too much attention to difficult sections or vocabulary.
- Read the title and any headings and sub-headings. These give big clues as to what the whole text is about.
- Read the first sentence (the topic sentence) of paragraph one. This will give you a good idea of what the paragraph is about.
- Quickly glance down through the rest of the paragraph noticing key information such as names, dates and keywords.
- Repeat this with each paragraph.
- Read the last paragraph a little more slowly as it probably contains a summary of the whole text.
This technique can be applied to any text but only with practice will you learn to use it effectively.
Exercise 1 Answer
The main idea of the article is that many Academics are leaving Universities in the EU which concerns officials. The writer is sharing data led information and linking it to the Brexit, saying that the government cannot ‘guarantee the rights of EU nationals‘.