As Brexit talks kicked off earlier this week, EU lawmakers are beginning to examine the implications that the exit of the United Kingdom will have on higher education and culture.
For the British academic sector, freedom of movement and the protection of the rights of EU students and staff in the UK will be the biggest issues at risk.
“Universities have always been globalised, so it is crucial that knowledge is not restrained by frontiers,” said Christina Slade, vice-chancellor of Bath Spa University and representative of the platform Universities UK, in a public hearing held on Wednesday (21 June) in the European Parliament’s culture committee.
Nearly one out of five staff members at UK universities come from other EU countries, and over 120,000 EU students are enrolled in a study program in Britain.
Universities UK, the representative body of Britain’s higher education centres, published a paper earlier this year outlining its position and demands for what the UK government should obtain from Brexit negotiations.
The “wish list” includes an “agreement for residency and work rights for EU nationals currently working in the university sector” and their families, as well as “enhanced mobility opportunities” both for UK and EU students – mostly by keeping British participation in EU funding programs…
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