UK universities face EU academics exodus due to Brexit

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UK universities face EU academics exodus due to Brexit

Over 2,300 EU academics have resigned from British universities in 2017 amid concerns over a ‘Brexodus’ of outstanding individuals in higher education. The number of European employees leaving universities over the past year increased by 19 percent as compared to before the EU referendum.

The departure of many EU academics was primarily due to a prolonged uncertainty of the future. This came about after a report from the British Academy warned of the possible threat to UK’s prominent university sector as a result of the imminent changes to immigration rules after Brexit. University of Oxford was reported to receive the highest number of resignations as it witnessed a total of 230 EU academics leaving the institutions last year compared to 171 in 2014-15, according to the freedom of information requests by the Liberal Democrats to 105 universities.

Similarly, King’s College London saw a resignation of 139 EU staff, compared to 108 before the referendum, while 173 EU academics resigned from the University of Cambridge last year compared to 153 during the previous year.

Institutions that responded reported more than 25,400 European academics on their rolls, with 6,633 working on STEM subjects where the UK suffers shortage of skilled manpower. Another 4,922 work on important fields such as health sciences, nursing or medicine, and 1,307 on business. The escalation in resignation among EU academics is a clear reflection of the negative impact brought about by Brexodus.

The success of Britain’s universities can be credited to the access to talented European researchers, and from years of European cooperation through schemes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus; which have now been placed at risk as a result of the mishandling of Brexit.

Source: The Independent

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