Universities across Britain could lose out on securing talented staff from within the EU unless the government delivers “greater clarity” on changes to UK immigration and the post-Brexit rights of EU nationals, according to the Russell Group.
The group of top research universities has suggested that Brexit is causing “uncertainty and anxiety” among EU staff already working in Britain, and making it harder to hire additional talent outside of the UK.
In a bid to tackle to issue, the universities have set out a 10-point questionnaire they feel the government should respond to, suggesting that a reciprocal agreement based on these concerns could be the only way the higher education sector can move forward post-Brexit.
The 24 universities that make up the Russell Group are all heavily focused on research, prompting them to suggest that the contribution of EU nationals is crucial.
"More broadly, EU staff and students add to the diversity of our campuses and enrich the learning experience for all," a briefing from the note from the group said. "We need to do everything we can to ensure these individuals feel valued and supported to stay in the UK."
For now, Theresa May has outlined plans that will require EU nationals living in Britain to apply for “settled status”, which would essentially grant them indefinite leave to remain in the UK once the country leaves the European Union.
This status would be awarded to an EU citizen who has been living in the UK for five years, with those who have not met this requirement able to stay and apply at a later date on their UK visa.