Hard Brexit could threaten Britain’s universities

PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

'Disaster' is looming for Britain's universities if the Government push ahead with a Hard Brexit, academics have warned.

Already applications from the European Union have tumbled by 14% at Cambridge University for undergraduate courses, the Education Select Committee was told.

Hostility towards immigrants, devaluation of the pound and uncertainty over research projects have also deterred postgraduates from heading to the UK, MPs were told.

Alistair Fitt, vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, said: 'It would probably be the biggest disaster for the universities sector in many years.'

John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, said it would make British universities 'extremely uncompetitive'.


You may also want to watch:


And Catharine Barnard, EU law professor at the University of Cambridge, added: 'It promptly cuts off the flow of excellent people who are coming at the moment.'

Prof Barnard said there had already been a drop in EU student applications: 'This year we have seen at Cambridge a 14% reduction in the number of applications from the European Union at undergraduate level, although I should say the number of applications from EU students at postgraduate level are up.

Most Read

'In respect of those who have declined an offer from Cambridge at postgraduate level, we have put a question in the so-called decliners survey to say 'what was it that dissuaded you from coming?'

'Those who answered the question offered a range of factors from a concern about anti-immigrant sentiment to devaluation of the pound and the fact that their scholarships would be worth less, although obviously not in the UK, and uncertainty over future research collaboration.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter
Comments powered by Disqus