There are warnings that ‘universities could close and tuition fees rise unless the Government gives guarantees over Brexit’ after the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol speaks out.
Talking to Sky News, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Professor Hugh Brady, wanted the Government to give both EU students and academic staff reassurance that they won’t be used as “bargaining chips” in the Brexit negotiations.
He claims that Britain needs to give them the reassurance that they need because “they are part of the great strength of our institutions”.
“There will be reluctance from new students entering UK universities because of the uncertainty among EU students”
The Government have tried to take steps in easing people’s fears by telling foreign students in the UK that their fee levels and immigration status will be guaranteed if they start their education before or during the 2017-18 academic year. However, there is no guarantee of what will occur after that set date.
At the University of Nottingham, 22% of undergraduate students for 2015/16 were from the EU.
With the University of Nottingham being a ‘global university’, Vice-Chancellor Sir David Greenaway has stated, “Unless the UK Government decides to take unilateral action, this vote does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK’s participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, nor to the immigration status of current and prospective EU students and staff”.
Figures from UCAS show a ‘9% fall in early applications from the rest of the EU for study in 2017’.
Nishtha Jaisingh, a third year Law student told Impact: “There will be reluctance from new students entering UK universities because of the uncertainty among EU students.”
“As we exit the EU we will strive to ensure we build on our achievements and remain a leading destination for the brightest and best minds at all stages of their careers”
A Government spokesperson spoke to Sky News: “As we exit the EU we will strive to ensure we build on our achievements and remain a leading destination for the brightest and best minds at all stages of their careers.
“We have already provided assurances for EU students applying for student funding in England for courses starting in the academic year 2017/18.”
Image: Sam Greenhalgh via Flickr