The University of Liverpool’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer, has written about the impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on Universities in the Guardian.

The article comes after university leaders wrote to MP’s to say it will take higher education ‘decades to recover’ if there is a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The joint letter suggests research links will be affected. This could have a great impact upon scientific progression, in fields such as cancer research and climate change. Universities currently contribute £21 billion to the UK economy. This could be threatened if a ‘no-deal’ Brexit occurs.

In Dame Janet Beer’s article, she raises issues such as data protection and intellectual property amongst the implications of crashing out of the EU. Beer also compares the UK’s retention of European research grants to Germany, highlighting the success of the higher education system in the UK.

Some assurances have been given by the government that research funding will be protected. However for Janet Beer this does not go far enough. The European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions funding streams are not protected. Therefore ‘UK universities will lose around £1.2 billion of research funding over the next two years.’ Beer sees universities as playing a key role in the success of a post-Brexit UK. But with a ‘no-deal’, Beer says:

‘It is no exaggeration to suggest that this would be an academic, cultural and scientific setback from which it will take our universities and our country decades to recover’.

You can read Janet Beer’s full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jan/04/a-no-deal-brexit-seriously-threatens-uk-universities