Policy Briefing 2
Brexit and the issues facing UK higher education
Published July 2017

Dr Ludovic Highman from the UCL Institute of Education outlines the consequences of Brexit for UK higher education.

Dr Highman explains why Brexit will have an impact on UK higher education and highlights some of the main challenges, such as EU research funding, Erasmus+ and the free movement of staff and students.

He points out that uncertainty over access to future EU research funding programmes calls for a rethinking of UK research and development (R&D) investment. He argues that this will require not only a cross-government strategy, but also UK universities to position themselves as gateways to their regions. UK universities will need to ‘carve for themselves a more proactive role at the centre of new free trade agreements in the competitive higher education market’.

In relation to Erasmus+, Dr Highman cautions that alternative global mobility schemes will be more expensive and are unlikely to offer the same language opportunities.

Dr Highman also calls for clarity over the status of EU staff and students in the UK. He warns that uncertainty, secrecy, and restricted access will not help build a welcoming and global image for UK higher education.

This briefing is an output of CGHE’s research project, Brexit, trade, migration and higher education.