This month has been dominated by Government consultations, the publication of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee's report.

The report entitled "Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research", and the Chancellor's announcement of an additional £4.7 billion investment in research and development.

House of Commons Education Select Committee Inquiry on the impact of Brexit on EU students and UK universities

The House of Commons Education Select Committee is currently reviewing the submissions it received on its inquiry into the impact of Brexit on EU students and UK higher education institutions. Chaired by Neil Carmichael, the Committee's inquiry sought evidence on the risks, challenges and opportunities for universities and students presented by Brexit. Explaining the remit of the inquiry, Mr Carmichael acknowledged the very real risks that Brexit poses for the reputation of British higher education, the ability to attract academics and international students from abroad, and the impact, both financial and strategic, on UK research.

The University of Greenwich submitted comprehensive evidence to the inquiry: read the University's full response.

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee's report on the implications of Brexit on UK science and research

On 18 November 2016, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee released its report on the implications of Brexit on UK science and research. Key amongst the Committee's recommendations were:

  • Researcher and academic mobility be considered separately to discussions on general immigration control by the Government, and acknowledge how future immigration controls will need to recognise the essentiality of researcher mobility in attracting high quality researchers to the UK;
  • The Government should provide reassurance to EU researchers currently resident in the UK that they will be exempt from negotiations on reciprocal immigration controls for workers already in post;
  • The appointment of a Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Exiting the European Union to "ensure that the impact on science and research of various models for Brexit, and the opportunities these provide, is understood and prioritised within the Department";
  • That the Interim Chair of UKRI act as a conduit between the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Exiting the European Union to ensure science and research is embedded in Government planning;
  • The Government should clearly articulate how it intends to protect the UK's science and research strengths by setting out "its objectives for addressing the priority areas of concern for the science community—funding, people, collaboration, regulation and facilities".

Industrial Strategy

In the first major economic announcement since the Referendum, on Monday 21st November the Prime Minister announced the creation of a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, administered by Innovate UK and the Research Councils, which will provide investment in collaborations between business and the "UK science base" in addressing key technology challenges. The release of the Autumn Statement on Wednesday 23rd November augmented this announcement by confirming that "additional funding will be allocated to increase research capacity and business innovation, to further support the UK's world-leading research base and to unlock its full potential. Once established, UKRI will award funding on the basis of national excellence and will include a substantial increase in grant funding through Innovate UK". The Government has committed an additional £4.7 billion for research and development by 2020–21.

#Weareinternational

Universities UK International unit and the British Council have developed a student-focused campaign to support student recruitment from Europe in the period up to January, and to encourage the positive message that EU students are warmly welcome to apply to UK institutions. As part of this campaign, UUKi and the British Council have published an FAQ Factsheet confirming the current arrangements in place for EU and prospective EU students.