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  • British universities and the Brexit

    - “Leaving the EU will create significant challenges for universities.” In a first response to the Brexit, Julia Goodfellow (President of Universities UK) said the UK Government should take steps to ensure staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities.

    Universities UK stated that although the outcome of the referendum is “not an outcome that we wished of campaigned for, we respect the decision of the UK electorate. We should remember that leaving the EU will not happen overnight – there will be a gradual exit process with significant opportunities to seek assurances and influence future policy.”

    Stay the best in the world

    During this process, the British universities aim to secure support for them to play a role in the global academic landscape and to be an attractive destination for talented people from accross Europe. Goodfellow: “These features are central to ensuring that British universities continue to be the best in the world.”

    For Universities UK the first priority will be to convince the government to take steps that will ensure staff and students from EU countries to continue their work of study at British universities in the long term. “They make a powerful contribution to university research and teaching and have a positive impact on the British economy and society.”

    Building networks

    Education minister Jo Johnson already responded to universities’ concerns by saying that “current students and this autumn’s applicants will continue to receive student finance for duration of their courses.”

    Another concern voiced by universities is that over opportunities for researchers to gain access to European research funding. “We will prioritise securing opportunities for our researchers and students to access vital pan-European programmes and build new global networks.”