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​UUK short-term political priorities

Parliment street

Since the EU referendum result, we have seen some welcome positive progress with government announcements on financial support for EU students coming to the UK to study in 2016–17 and 2017–18, transitional guarantees for Horizon 2020 programmes and to European Structural and Investment Funds.

However, there are still a number of issues resulting from the vote to leave the EU that need attention.

UUK is urging the government to implement a transitional period where action can be taken and time-limited commitments can be made to provide stability, create confidence and address uncertainty during the pre-exit period and immediately afterwards.

We want the government to prioritise the following actions to create short- and medium-term transitional certainty:

Student fees and loans

  • Provide a guarantee that EU students considering coming to the UK to study in 2018–19 that they will continue to pay the same tuition fees as home students and have the same access to student loans as they currently do, for the full duration of their course. This would be a short-term transitional measure for students starting ahead of the date of the UK's exit from the EU and would not prejudice future policy or negotiations​

Immigration status of EU students and staff

  • Provide assurances that all existing EU staff will be able to remain in the UK following the UK's exit from the EU

  • Send out a clear international message that the UK is open for business and an attractive destination for talent

  • Pursue evidence-based reform of the current immigration system that more clearly recognises the benefits of international students and international academic staff

  • Give assurance that any changes to EU students' immigration status, tuition fee requirements and access to student loans will only apply to incoming EU students beginning courses after the UK's exit from the EU

  • Promote the value of international staff and students and mobility, and signal a commitment to limiting bureaucracy regardless of the future immigration status of EU nationals

Horizon 2020

  • Continue to communicate to other Member States that the UK is a full member of Horizon 2020 and heavily promote EU funding opportunities to UK researchers

  • Build on the very welcome commitment to underwrite EU collaborative projects funded prior to the UK's exit from the EU by:

    • extending existing assurances that funding used to underwrite Horizon 2020 awards will not come from raiding existing funding allocations within the science ring-fence (e.g. quality-related [QR] funding), past the end of the allocation of the current science and research budget​

Mobility programmes (Erasmus+)

  • Affirm that it is a priority to ensure that future EU academic and student mobility is not impeded by unnecessary bureaucracy regardless of the immigration status of EU nationals, communicating a welcoming and positive message worldwide​

 News

Initial Brexit deal good news for universities

8 December 2017
Universities UK has welcomed the initial Brexit agreement, but stressed that phase two of the negotiations will be hugely important for universities.

The Brightest Minds

Top European researchers need certainty about their futures in the UK

5 December 2017
The UK could lose some of its brightest minds who are conducting life-changing research unless they receive long-term clarity from the Brexit negotiations.

Downturn in UK participation in latest EU research programme statistics

28 November 2017
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published the latest figures on UK participation in Horizon 2020. The data shows an overall downturn in UK success in Horizon 2020, in both total participations and funding received, sin

 Blog

Horizon 2020: universities need clarity on UK participation in EU research and innovation programme

7 November 2017
Universities UK International's Peter Mason looks at the possible impact of Brexit on the UK's participation in the EU's research and innovation programmme Horizon 2020. He looks at what's at stake and what universities need.

How can universities help to attract and retain graduates in North East England?

27 April 2017
Ross Smith, Director of Policy at North East England Chamber of Commerce, outlines areas where universities could do more to help encourage graduates to stay to work in North East England

What the British public really think about international students

13 April 2017
Karmjit Kaur, Head of Political Affairs at Universities UK, discusses the British public's perception of international students as an asset to the UK, and explains why international students should not be included in a net migration target.