EU universities say Brexit is hindering research collaborations

University organisations in the EU have said there is detrimental uncertainty surrounding the UK’s continued involvement in post-Brexit European programmes.

Higher education organisations called for urgent clarification as to what Britain’s position will be in academic research and programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ after leaving the EU. The government said Britain will maintain its commitment to the Horizon science programme, but has not commented on other programmes in question.

The universities said: “Universities must know which, if any, measures they need to undertake in the future to enable their students to thrive and their researchers to continue their innovative research”.

The Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) found in their annual survey that 40 percent of universities in the UK have seen a decline in EU applicants for business courses.

Speaking on how these figures may affect higher education as a whole, Professor Simon Collinson, Chair of the CABS, said: “The high numbers of business students are a key source of revenue for universities and business schools produce research vital to unlocking Britain’s productivity.

“We are facing the prospect of a fall in EU students coinciding with the freeze on student fees and the longer-term threat of European universities recruiting the international students that underpin our finances.”

Chief Executive of Universities UK, Alistair Jarvis, also commented: “The UK Government must ensure that the UK continues to welcome, with minimal barriers, talented EU staff and students.”

EU27 leaders said that at their most recent summit there had not been enough progress made in phase one of Brexit negotiations to move on to the next stage. It is hoped that by their next meeting, in December, that clarifications will be made.


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Sean Bennett

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January 2022
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