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Response to Theresa May speech on Brexit


Universities UK responded today to Theresa May's speech on Brexit.

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: "We welcome the prime minister's commitment to ensuring that the UK remains open to international talent. It was good also to hear her talking about the international strength of our university system and the importance of continuing to collaborate in cutting-edge research and innovation.​

"The UK's university system is indeed world-leading. Much of this success is due to our ability to attract talented students and staff from around the world and the world-class research we produce with international partners.

"There are currently nearly half a million international students at UK universities, with over 125,000 of them from EU countries. 16% of academic staff at UK universities are from EU countries, while 12% are from non-EU countries.

"Brexit negotiations must ensure that the UK is still open to EU and international students and that we can continue to access valuable and collaborative European research networks. It was encouraging to hear that the prime minister would like to see the UK continue to play a role in certain EU programmes.

"Brexit poses many challenges, but with the right Government support, universities can play a central role in the UK's economic success and global influence outside the EU. This will, however, require reforms to our current immigration system to ensure that the most talented international students, researchers and university staff can come to the UK and are welcomed, regardless of their nationality."


1.     For more information on the implications of the Brexit for UK universities, see our Brexit FAQs

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK


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