Brexit Challenges & Opportunities: Research, Innovation & Tertiary Education

The UK research base is internationally recognised as one of the strongest in the world. As a priority, the RSE urges the UK Government to build upon its initial offer to provide assurance and certainty that the existing rights of EU nationals in the UK will be protected, and encourages the Government to argue for the rights of UK nationals working and studying within the EU.

To maintain the ability to attract EU staff and students to UK universities, the RSE believes that the UK Government should:

  • Confirm the basis upon which post-2019 cohorts of EU undergraduate and postgraduate students will be able to study in the UK
  • Remove international students from the net migration targets to make clear that talented individuals are welcomed by the UK
  • Work with the Scottish Government to reintroduce the post-study work visa in Scotland and ensure that UK and Scottish-based students and staff continue to benefit from exchange programmes including Erasmus+

To drive innovation and research, the RSE notes that it is crucial for the UK Government to achieve the closest possible association with the EU research system by:

  • Ensuring that structures exist to enable UK and Scottish-based researchers to continue to undertake collaborative research with European and international partners; including participation in the European Research Council
  • Giving priority to securing the UK and Scotland’s continued participation in EU-funded research programmes; including Horizon 2020, from which Scotland receives most funding per head of population of all the UK nations
  • Maintaining the UK’s influential role in shaping the EU research and innovation agenda and ensuring access to and influence upon major international facilities for research and innovation
  • Retaining overall equivalence with EU regulatory requirements, ensuring that regulations are adaptive to the needs of innovative technologies and proportionate to their risks

Download AP17-15_Brexit_Research Innovation and Tertiary Education_Jul2017

Policy identifier

AD 17-15


Professor David Cole-Hamilton FRSE

Published date

July 2017