The Education Committee has launched an inquiry into the impact of Brexit on higher education. The inquiry follows the expansion of the Committee’s remit to include higher education, further education and skills in response to changes at the Department for Education.
The Committee aims for the inquiry to seek to inform the public and influence the Brexit negotiations.
The inquiry will explore the implications of UK’s exit from the European Union for EU students and staff who want to come to England’s universities to study and work and will consider what protections should be given to those who are already here. Similarly, it will look at the ramifications for Britons who want to work and study at higher education institutions in the EU.
The Committee will also examine the effect of Brexit on the reputation of England’s universities and ask how they can remain competitive. The future of the Erasmus+ student exchange programme will also be examined as part of the inquiry.
Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said:
“There are fears that Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will have a negative impact on higher education. Concerns range from being able to attract the brightest students from across Europe to making sure UK universities maintain their places among the world’s best.
“The Education Committee is keen to hear from university leaders, academics, students and others, as we examine the opportunities for higher education post-Brexit and consider what the Government’s priorities should be for the sector going into the negotiations with the EU.”
Written evidence can be submitted via the inquiry webpage by 11 November 2016 on the following issues:
• The likely impact of the UK exiting the EU on EU students studying in England;
• What protections should be in place for existing EU students and staff;
• The future of the Erasmus+ programme following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU;
• Risks and opportunities for UK students;
• How changes to freedom of movement rules may affect students and academics in English higher education institutions;
• How to ensure UK universities remain competitive after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU;
• What the Government’s priorities should be during negotiations for the UK to exit the EU with regard to students and staff at higher education institutions;
• What steps the Government should take to mitigate any possible risks and take advantage of any opportunities.
NB: The impact of Brexit on university research and funding will not be covered by the inquiry as these policy areas for the responsibility of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Science and Technology Committee is conducting an inquiry into the implications and opportunities stemming from the UK’s exit from the EU on science and research.