26 Jul 2018
In a policy paper published today (26 July), MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has called on the government to follow the example of Australia-New Zealand and the Nordic countries in committing to reciprocity on university fee levels for UK and EU students both during and after the Brexit implementation period.
The MillionPlus paper, EU students: securing the best opportunities for students, universities and the UK economy post-Brexit, makes a recommendation to the government on the Brexit Treaty negotiations:
The benefit to the UK of EU students studying in UK universities has been formally recognised in parliament, with Tom Brake MP tabling an Early Day Motion to that effect on 16 July.
Professor Dave Phoenix, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University, said:
“The government’s recent White Paper suggested an encouraging direction of travel around student mobility. As we move closer to our exit from the European Union, our world-class universities and prospective students in EU27 countries and the UK deserve to know where they stand from 2020.
“EU students who study at UK universities bring with them immense benefits to our country and our economy. In addition to the estimated £5.1bn these students generate for the economy we must factor in the wider educational and cultural contribution they make, on which it would be impossible to put a price. The lack of reference to mutual EU student fee recognition in the Brexit White Paper is highly concerning and a gaping hole in Britain’s plans to exit the EU, potentially hitting hard the important two-way flow of students.
“As other regional reciprocal arrangements in Australasia and Scandinavia show, this is about common sense cooperation, not Brexit politics. The government should seek a Brexit agreement, or an agreement during the implementation period, aimed at a reciprocally beneficial relationship for UK students studying in the EU and EU students studying here. This would be a win-win outcome for both sides.
“This will ensure that UK higher education remains competitive and attractive and that the UK can continue to attract the over 130,000 EU students currently enrolling at our universities each year.”
Dr Caroline Perkins, Executive Director of Australia’s Regional Universities Network, said:
"Having specific agreements between some nations on reciprocal student fee arrangements just makes sense.
"Based on the close relationship between Australia and New Zealand and our similar higher education systems, our fees agreement, which allows students from each country to study in the other under domestic fee arrangements, has been mutually beneficial. The universities of the Regional Universities Network have benefited from New Zealand students studying at our campuses, and contributing to our communities. The arrangement has reinforced the link between our nations.”
Notes to editors
Download EU students: securing the best opportunities for students, universities and the UK economy post-Brexit »