Post-Brexit 'Brain Drain' Threatens Int'l Competitiveness of UK Universities

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Higher education in the UK is a world leader but Brexit risks damaging international competitiveness and the long-term success of British universities, according to the UK Parliamentary Education Committee.

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Hard Brexit May Cripple UK Higher Education, Benefit Other European Universities
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The UK Parliamentary Education Committee released a report on Tuesday, calling on the UK government to urgently guarantee the rights of EU staff in the country's university sector in order to prevent a "brain drain" caused by Brexit, as it threatens the international competitiveness of UK universities.

"Higher education in the UK is a world leader but Brexit risks damaging our international competitiveness and the long-term success of our universities. It’s welcome that EU students have been given some guarantees on their funding and loan access but the Government must act urgently to address the uncertainty over EU staff and avert the risk of a damaging ‘brain drain’ of talent from our shores," Neil Carmichael, the chair of the committee, said as quoted in the report.

The committee said that the issue of EU staff residency rights should be solved before the end of 2017 and that the government should remove overseas students from the net migration target.

"The Committee recommends the Government introduce an easier route than the Tier 2 (skilled worker) visa for academics from across the globe, with less bureaucracy, to show it is serious in its aim of bringing in the best people from around the world," the report said.

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The United Kingdom launched the process of withdrawal from the European Union on March 29, after London sent an official announcement to European Council President Donald Tusk against the backdrop of the 2016 Brexit referendum's results. The United Kingdom has two years to negotiate the details of its withdrawal with the other 27 nations of the European Union.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May previously ruled out remaining part of the EU single market, which stipulates the free movement of people.

In February, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) said in its analysis that the number of EU applicants to UK universities had shown a significant decline of 7 percent due to fears of higher living costs in the country after Brexit.

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