The education select committee has announced that universities in the UK will see their funding increase after Brexit, it has been reported.
MPs stated that once Britain has left the European Union (EU), universities will not be able to draw funds from the European Structural and Investment Funds. However, since the UK is a “net contributor” to these funds, the government may set up its own regional growth fund following Brexit - a fund that could “easily exceed” the amount of investment universities traditionally received from the EU.
This was revealed in a report by MPs released last month, titled ‘Exiting the EU: Challenges and opportunities for higher education’.
The report highlighted that the UK received £1.67 billion from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fun (ESF) in 2014/15; a figure that is only 29 per cent of the amount the British government pays in.
"It is likely structural funding will be a casualty of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, as these funds are distributed only to EU members," read the report.
Currently, in a submission to the select committee, the University Alliance claims that ERDF and ESF distribute £100 million each year in British universities to fund projects promoting enterprise and growth in their local area. However, should the government set up a new fund, much more could be invested in universities.
In addition to this, MPs also underlined the government’s immigration policy and European staff as priorities for universities during Brexit negotiations.
Alistair Jarvis, deputy chief executive of Universities UK, commented: “The government should seek to secure continued close collaboration with EU research partners and also provide certainty for EU staff currently working in UK universities in terms of work and residency rights.
“Changes to our immigration system are also needed to ensure that the UK remains a destination of choice for international talent and students.”