MAKING A SUCCESS OF BREXIT
Universities employ around 32,000 non-UK EU nationals, making up 16% of the academic workforce  . Additionally, 6.4% of full-time undergraduate and post-graduate students at UK universities are non-UK EU nationals  . A clear international message that the UK is open for business and an attractive destination for talent, and assurances that existing EU staff will be able to remain in the UK following the UK's exit from the EU, are high priorities for the sector. Clarity over the financial position of students beginning their course in 2018-19 would also give the sector some respite.
Similarly, numerous colleges have voiced concerns about protections for their EU-national students and staff members. Calculations are ongoing to assess the full numbers of EU students and staff within colleges. But the skills shortages in certain sectors – such as construction and engineering – are reflected in the challenges of recruiting talented staff to teaching roles in these areas. It is important that leaving the EU does not make it even more difficult to fill vacancies in these areas.
Universities received £3.9 billion in research income from EU sources between the 2009/10 to 2014/15 academic years  . The majority of funding since 2014 has come from Horizon 2020 (including via the European Research Council). However, Universities also benefit from other EU funding streams, particularly the European Structural and Investment Funding, European Regional Development Funding and European Investment Bank loans on attractive terms.
Many of the funds received by UK colleges from the EU fulfil social aims, through European Social Funding. In the years 2014-15, colleges received £100 million ESF income and £18 million in direct European grants  . These schemes target unemployment, small businesses and enterprise, and also facilitate international collaboration on serious shared challenges like domestic violence and homelessness. New domestic systems of funding can fulfil these objectives, but the UK alone cannot replace all the benefits conferred by full participation in Horizon2020 and the collaboration of academia and industry on an international level.
Given the significance of funding from EU sources for the education sector, a smooth transition from EU funding to UK funding is needed. A shortfall must be avoided.
For creative industries at the CBI, contact: Jessica Dickinson on 020 7395 8053 or jessica.Dickinson@cbi.org.uk