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Could Brexit threaten UK universities?

Could Brexit threaten UK universities?
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It appears that Brexit could affect university financial backing, as Professor Hugh Brady, vice chancellor of one of Britain’s top leading universities states that he is extremely ‘worried’ over a possible severe drop in funding.

Brady has expressed his concern that the lower tier of universities will ultimately close and that university fees will rise if no action is taken to protect funding in post Brexit Britain.

These concerns have come to light after it has been revealed that there are 125,000 European students studying in the UK and paying for this right. Furthermore, the European Union is also a major source of funding and education for establishments in the UK.

The EU contribute massively to research for British universities, with Brady commenting that 15% of research comes from the union.  Further accounts reveal that 5% of the student population are EU citizens alongside 20% of the university teaching population.

Brady comments that although the people who voted remain did recognise the positive economic value and input of EU students, the decision to leave now means that the government is refusing to give EU students applying this year assurances concerning fees. This lack of assurance has meant that applications from EU students have dropped by 9%, a figure set to increase in light of new Brexit negotiations.

Brady concludes by commenting on the sophisticated style of the UK systems and stating his obvious upset at the potential effect of Brexit; ‘Why would we possibly want to jeopardise that system which is so important for our economic future?’

Further Brexit neogotiaions are now in progress, yet little is known over the possible affect on UK universities.

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a third year history student studying at The University of Manchester.

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