UK universities stand to suffer from Brexit, while universities across Europe and particularly in Germany are likely to benefit. Aline Courtois and a recent report from the Centre for Global Higher Education compare the expectations of European university leaders and staff regarding the post-Brexit future of Higher Education.
The UK is currently the second-largest recipient of competitive research funding from the EU: 6% of students and 17% of staff in UK universities are from other EU countries. Nearly half of academic papers produced by the UK are written in collaboration with at least one international partner – and among the top 20 countries UK academics cooperate the most with, 13 are in the EU. Continue reading
What Brexit will mean for UK universities varies from institution to institution. Much data on Brexit’s impact focuses on sector-wide aggregates, the forest that hides the trees. The UK provides excellent teaching and research, as illustrated by the number of its universities ranked in the top 10, 50 or 100 in the world. Yet despite its world-class reputation, the UK’s Higher Education sector is hierarchical, and various layers will be affected differently. Ludovic Highman explores the sector’s diversity in this regard.
The diversity of the student fabric of UK universities, so crucial to the overall student experience, depends on a healthy number of non-UK based students interacting with domestic students. Continue reading
Sir Peter Scott, Emeritus Professor of Higher Educational Studies at the UCL Institute of Education, outlines the implications which Brexit will have for UK universities. Although noting that much is uncertain, he outlines four areas in which negative impact is identifiable: student exchanges (largely through the Erasmus programme), the recruitment of students from other EU countries, the employment of academic and research staff from the rest of the EU, and research grants and income from EU programmes. He argues that Brexit could undermine both the financial sustainability of UK univerisities, as well as the overall quality of their scholarship.
Some of the implications for higher education of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union can already be identified. Others are more difficult to identify, but may be even more important. This means that the long-term consequences for UK universities, colleges, and research establishments of the decision to ‘leave’ will be a slow-burn affair.
Ned Costello, CEO of the Irish Universities Association, argues that a UK exit from the European Union would likely have a significant negative impact on Irish students in the UK, British students in Ireland, and the Irish Higher Education sector in general.
Each year, around this time, we are reminded of the close nature of the relationship between the UK and Ireland … BAFTA awards for films and performances which both countries can justifiably claim (Brooklyn and Room in 2016), and the healthy on- and-off-the-pitch passions and rivalries of Six Nations rugby…
The relationship between Irish and UK universities is little different. Most Irish universities developed out of an early British model, albeit in very different political, social and economic contexts. However, the fundamentals of geographical proximity, a common language, economic ties and cultural affinities have all helped ensure that our IE-UK academic networks remain strong. Continue reading
Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, speaks up in support for UK membership of the EU, highlighting the potentially harmful effects an exit could have on the UK’s Higher Education sector. Writing in a personal capacity, he reflects on the role that universities, and their Vice-Chancellors, should take in the referendum debate. Moreover, he argues that a ‘no’ vote would not only lead to a significant loss of research funding and risk diminishing the diversity of staff and students, but also to a loss of impact in setting the global research agenda.
With Prime Minister David Cameron’s draft EU reform deal on the table, current speculation is that the referendum vote could happen as early as June this year. A good time therefore to put fingers to keyboard and to express my personal view about what universities should (or perhaps should not) do as the debate intensifies.
As many will be aware, UCL hosted a launch event for UUK, during which this collective sector-wide body expressed a view that it would be very bad for UK Higher Education if we were to leave the European Union. It was a one-sided launch event and was never intended to be anything else, but nevertheless it attracted criticism, and was contrasted with the silent approach taken by Scottish universities during the referendum on independence for Scotland. Continue reading