Universities ready for No Deal Brexit but fear its consequences warns Universities UK

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UK universities concerned about the risks of a No Deal Brexit on student and staff recruitment and research, but most are prepared for it finds universities representative body Universities UK. Anna Tobin reports

Universities UK’s in-depth survey of its members on their preparedness for a No Deal Brexit found that universities are worried that a No Deal Brexit will impact on student and staff recruitment and retention and access to research programmes and funding. It also found that 100% of the institutions surveyed feel prepared for No Deal to some extent. As part of these plans, 93% of universities have encouraged EU staff and students to secure pre-settled and settled status and some universities have prepared, or considered preparing, stores of essential supplies.

Meanwhile, 61% of universities believe either student recruitment (34%) or access to research programmes and funding (27%) will be hit by No Deal and universities are already feeling the potential effects of crashing out of the EU. Half of the institutions reported experiencing a change in demand from EU students, more than 55% have experienced a change in the level of collaboration with overseas partners and almost 60% have lost existing or potential staff members to overseas institutions.

“While the news that universities feel prepared for no-deal in some capacity is reassuring it is clear that the implications of exit under these circumstances remain largely unknown. It is in the Government’s power to alleviate many of these concerns,” said Professor Julia Buckingham, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of Brunel University London. “Despite working tirelessly to offset the potential implications of no-deal, such an outcome could leave an indelible footprint on the higher education landscape for years to come.”

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