Sheffield universities concerned over Brexit impact

Sheffield’s universities have expressed concerns about their fate following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, according to a parliamentary report published today.

The House of Commons Education Committee published the report after hearing evidence from over 190 stakeholders, including universities, lecturers and individual students.

Sheffield Hallam University welcomed the opportunity to comment on the debate, saying: “There are far greater risks than opportunities presented by terms of a Brexit agreement which significantly restricts the freedom of movement of labour.”

Sheffield Hallam, the sixth largest university in the country, also argued that students would be significantly disadvantaged when the UK leaves the EU, because of reduced access to programs like Erasmus, fewer chances to interact with international students and a smaller number of placements abroad. As well as students, they argued that staff would also suffer because of less opportunities to conduct “impactful research” with European counterparts.

Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University
Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University

The University of Sheffield took a similar stance, emphasising the fact that they have collaborated with 23 out of the other 27 EU members in their research. They told the committee ‘s inquiry that they needed assurances from the Government “clearly and quickly” that existing EU staff and students have the right to stay, and that without it, we “risk a significant ‘brain drain’.” In addition, they recommended that supporting the free movement of staff and students is prioritised in Britain’s exit negotiations.