Russell Group press top EU Brexit negotiators on Research and Higher Education

31 May 2017

Senior university leaders have urged the EU to make research, innovation and higher education Brexit priorities following constructive talks with European officials in Brussels.

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A delegation of Vice-Chancellors and other senior university staff from Russell Group institutions met yesterday with MEPs and top representatives from the EU Commission and Council’s Brexit negotiating teams.

Speaking following the meetings, UCL Provost Michael Arthur said:

“Officials in Brussels recognise the strength of UK higher education and they value the close working relationships that we have built over the last forty years.

“No one is understating the scale of the challenge Brexit presents, but if talks reflect the good will we saw yesterday then we should be able to approach negotiations in a positive frame of mind. The meetings we had with people on both the UK and EU side, as well as with MEPs from a number of different countries, were constructive.

“We made it clear during our meetings that there would be no winners from a Brexit deal which made it harder for UK and EU universities to collaborate on world-leading research.

“Russell Group universities want to maintain as close ties as possible with our friends and colleagues in Europe. That starts with clear guarantees over the rights of the 86,000 staff and students from other EU member states who are studying and working at Russell Group institutions.”

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