Two-fifths of scholars ‘more likely to quit UK’ after Brexit vote

UCU uses survey to urge ministers to shelve ‘divisive’ HE bill and focus on Brexit impact

January 9, 2017
Leaving

Forty per cent of UK academics, and three-quarters of continental EU academics in the country, say they are “more likely to consider leaving” Britain after the Brexit vote, according to a University and College Union survey.

The survey, carried out by YouGov and commissioned by the UCU, also found that 81 per cent of respondents said the government’s plans to give new private providers easier access to degree-awarding powers and university title will have a negative impact on UK higher education.

The survey asked 1,000 lecturers and professors in UK higher education for their view on the impact of the Higher Education and Research Bill and Brexit on the sector.

Forty-two per cent said they were more likely to consider leaving the UK after the Brexit vote, rising to 76 per cent for non-UK EU academics.

EU nationals account for 16 per cent of academic staff at UK universities, according to Higher Education Statistics Agency figures.

Twenty-nine per cent of all respondents said they already knew of academics leaving the UK, while 44 per cent said they knew of academics who had lost access to research funding as a result of the referendum.

An overwhelming majority, 90 per cent, said they thought Brexit would have a negative impact on UK higher education.

Sally Hunt, the UCU general secretary, said: “I am deeply worried that so many academics already know of staff leaving as a result of the Brexit vote, and that three-quarters of EU nationals are now considering leaving the UK.

“The government must focus its full attention on dealing with the impacts of Brexit and shelve the divisive HE bill. Its first act should be to try and retain the talented academics working in this country by guaranteeing EU staff already working in the UK the right to remain.”

In other findings, 76 per cent of respondents said that linking the teaching excellence framework to tuition fee increases in line with inflation will have a negative impact on UK higher education.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents said student satisfaction would be an ineffective or very ineffective measure of teaching quality, while 55 per cent and 59 per cent respectively said the same of graduate employment and dropout rates.

Ms Hunt said: “The level of concern among staff about the bill’s plans must be cause for alarm. We have to have robust requirements for new higher education providers in order to safeguard the UK’s global academic reputation.”

john.morgan@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

PhD Scholar in Medicine

University Of Queensland

Manager, Research Systems and Performance

Auckland University Of Technology

Lecturer in Aboriginal Allied Health

University Of South Australia

Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery

Western Sydney University

College General Manager, SHE

La Trobe University
See all jobs

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi