Parliamentary briefing: Exiting the EU and science and research – general debate 19 December 2016

​​Our universities are a British success story, world-renowned, internationally competitive and a major economic asset, generating annual output of £73bn for the British economy, and leaders in science and research.

              • ​With 0.9% of the world’s population, the UK produces 15.9% of the world’s most highly-cited articles.

              • In 2013, the UK overtook the USA to rank first in the world by field-weighted citation impact (an indicator of research quality).

              • The UK’s scientific research institutions are ranked second in the world for quality.

As the government looks to minimise the turbulence and maximise the opportunities associated with leaving the European Union, universities can play a central role in driving inclusive economic growth locally, regionally and nationally; improving productivity as part of a new industrial strategy; and strengthening our international trade and diplomatic relationships across Europe and the wider world.

Leaving the European Union poses some major challenges and concerns for the UK higher education system, including:

  1. Increased barriers to recruiting European staff 

  2. Damage to international research collaboration 

  3. Increased barriers to recruiting European students 

  4. Loss of funding for research and innovation 

  5. Reduced outward mobility opportunities for staff and students 

Only with the right support and investment from the government – through a combination of securing the best deal from the exit negotiations and domestic policy change – will universities thrive outside the European Union.

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