25 Apr 2017
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, today (25 April) welcomes the House of Commons Education Select Committee Report on the challenges and opportunities for higher education as Britain exits the European Union.
The report reinforces many of the issues on which MillionPlus has campaigned since the vote to leave the EU, including maintaining access to cross-border programmes, replacing European structural funds with a UK regional growth fund, guaranteeing levels of research funding, and ensuring the UK remains an attractive destination of study for both EU and international students.
Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“The Education Select Committee has clearly set out why universities, students and EU staff should be at the forefront of the government’s Brexit negotiations and we hope that Ministers will respond positively to this comprehensive and well-evidenced report.
“EU students are worth over £2bn to the UK economy and we wholeheartedly endorse the Committee’s recommendation that the UK should seek to retain visa-free access for these students and for UK students studying in Europe post-Brexit.
“MPs are also right to conclude that the Government should prioritise continued access to EU research programmes and to Erasmus+ but they must also make contingency plans to provide the same level of investment as has been received from the EU in case these priorities are not achieved.
“Membership of the EU has meant that some regions of the UK have received European Structural and Investment Funds and universities have been heavily engaged in projects associated with these funds. If the industrial strategy is to have any chance of addressing inequalities in regional growth, the Committee’s call for the next Government to establish a new and expanded regional growth fund post-Brexit is well-made.
“Crucially, MPs on the Education Select Committee have recognised that uncertainty over the future of EU research funds and the creation of UKRI provide a golden opportunity for Ministers to take much more account of ‘place’ in the future distribution of research funding. MillionPlus has long argued that research funding has been concentrated in a ‘golden triangle’ to the disadvantage of local economies and businesses elsewhere and we welcome the fact that MPs have now recognised that the distribution of research funding should change in the future.”
Notes to editors