14:41 GMT25 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Over 2,300 EU academics left UK universities in 2017, up 19 percent compared to the year before the referendum on the country's withdrawal from the European Union, local media reported.

    The highest number of academic departures, 230, was registered in the University of Oxford, which saw just 171 EU academics leaving the educational institution in 2014-2015, the Independent newspaper said Saturday, citing freedom of information requests by the Liberal Democrats to 105 universities.

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

    Nevertheless, the university's spokesperson said Oxford had recruited a large number of EU staff and would continue to call for a free flow of academics to and from the EU in the final Brexit settlement agreement.

    Other major increases in EU academic staff departures were in the University of Cambridge and the King’s College London, which lost 173 and 139 EU staff members compared to 153 and 108 the year before, respectively.

    The institutions that responded to the requests said there were more than 25,400 EU academics on their rolls.

    In mid-November, the British Academy warned that the UK’s university sector, especially in modern languages and economics, might be under threat from the post-Brexit immigration rules.

    READ MORE: UK Universities Tell Theresa May They Need 'Clarity' on Brexit for EU Nationals

    Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union started on June 19, 2017, and are due to be completed by the end of March 2019. The first phase of the talks focused on the protection of rights of EU citizens in the United Kingdom and UK citizens in the bloc, as well as the UK-Irish border and London’s financial obligations to Brussels after the withdrawal.

    According to the EU-UK agreement reached in December 2017, anyone who has lived in the country for less than five years before the official exit date will be able to apply to remain until they have reached the five-year threshold.

    The second phase, to which the parties moved on in December 2017, is expected to focus on the transition period in EU-UK relations after Brexit, and their future long-term trade and security cooperation.


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