The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 17 August 2018

Education

Image: Getty Images

Capital cost

Brexit is draining the UK’s creative industries’ talent pool as fewer foreign students are choosing London for their studies.

New figures show an 11 per cent drop in university enrolments for architecture, building and planning courses from international students outside the EU. This is a worrying trend for Britain’s creative industries. The uncertain nature of a post-Brexit UK seems to be dissuading young foreign talent from pursuing London as a potential base for design work and education. Speaking to Monocle for an interview in the Summer Weekly newspaper, Stirling-prize-winning British architect Amanda Levete agreed, saying she has noticed a drop in job applications from young designers outside the UK. She poses the question many are currently asking: “If they are going to embark on leaving their country and come here, what certainty of status is there?”

Aviation

Image: Getty Images

Payback time

Portugal’s politicians will have to keep their feet on the ground (or put their hands in their pockets) after the country’s flag-carrier axed their free flights.

Bad news for Portugal’s globetrotting politicians as Tap Air Portugal, the nation’s flag-carrier, has announced that it will no longer be offering free travel to members of the government. It’s likely that the clampdown will extend further than freebies – and may even curtail mates’ rates on upgrades. Peter Morris, chief economist at Flight Ascend Consultancy, says that these sorts of perks used to be de rigueur – and it wasn’t just governments that enjoyed them. Greek carrier, Olympic Airways, used to offer free flights to orthodox priests, while businesses have long enjoyed healthy corporate discounts. In announcing a formal end to the practice, Morris says Tap has woken up to the commercial reality of transport in the 21st century: connecting customers to last-minute seats, that may once have been empty, has never been easier.

Politics

Image: Shutterstock

Operation harmony

The US has dispatched a marine to take a shot at forging closer relationships in South America.

Secretary of defence and former marine James “Mad Dog” Mattis is on a new tour of duty. Latin America is back in the geopolitical spotlight, with sweeping changes in Mexico and Colombia, and Venezuela’s authoritarian turn causing concern. This is why Mattis has recently visited Brazil, Argentina and Chile, and will round out the week in Colombia, where he’ll meet newly installed incumbent (and Farc peace-accord cynic) Iván Duque, who promises to be Latam’s most pro-US leader. The trip, in which Mattis has urged Brazil to forge closer ties with the US, has much to do with China’s increasing financial clout in the region, where it has sold trains to several countries and is developing its space programme deep in Argentina’s wild Patagonia region. The US seems to want its slice of the cake back.

Business

Image: Alamy

Mayday, mayday

With regional Japanese airports’ finances in a tailspin, the government is looking for help from the private sector.

Japan’s money-losing regional airports have weighed on public coffers for decades. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is now hoping that the private sector can turn around the most troubled cases. Yesterday the ministry received the final bids for a 30-year contract to operate seven airports in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, from 2020. The ministry has auctioned off its airports before but this is the first time it has bundled seven at once. The Hokkaido airports draw a combined 28 million travellers a year but only one is not in the red: Sapporo’s Shin Chitose Airport, a nationally run facility that is Japan’s second-most profitable airport. The auction drew interest from property developer Mitsubishi Estate, railway operator Tokyu and the Development Bank of Japan, among others. The scheme’s success so far has the government already planning two more rounds of airport privatisations in Kumamoto and Hiroshima.

From Monocle 24

Image: William Murphy

Dublin, Smithfield

The Menu: Food Neighbourhoods

Monocle’s Sebastian Stephenson takes us on a tour of Smithfield in Dublin’s Northside, which has seen some significant regeneration in recent years.

From Monocle Films

Monocle preview: September issue, 2018

It’s back to work this month and we’re ready to build better businesses. Once you’ve absorbed our guide, get the lowdown on entrepreneurs’ reading lists and dress the part with our workwear looks. If all else fails, you can always join the French Foreign Legion. Get busy!

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