EU & International

Russell Group universities are international institutions with a global reputation for the quality of their teaching, research and collaborative relationships.

They attract and welcome talented staff and students from across the globe and these individuals make a vital contribution to our academic and economic life.

Russell Group universities collaborate at an international level with businesses, charities, universities and a wide range of different partners to boost the impact of our research and its global application.

Our universities also form a large part of one of the UK’s most successful export industries and are critical in helping to attract foreign direct investment into the UK, in particular related to research and development.

Russell Group universities want to:

  • Ensure they can continue to recruit and retain talented staff and students wherever they come from
  • Maintain the closest possible ties with our partners in Europe to continue collaboration through Brexit and beyond, particularly for research
  • Support and enhance the UK’s positioned as a world leader in research and innovation


International staff and students

International staff and students are indispensable to our world-class institutions and make a significant contribution to the UK’s success in research, innovation and education. They also contribute to a diverse faculty and student body, and a thriving society, culture and economy.

The UK needs to signal clearly that it welcomes the world’s best academics and genuine international students. While tackling abuse, the Government’s immigration policies must be competitive to maximise the potential for economic growth.


International graduates frequently go on to become valuable overseas partners for UK companies and organisations.

It is crucial that the immigration system continues to support the efforts of universities in attracting talented people who have a legitimate interest in studying, teaching or carrying out research here.

International research collaboration

Russell Group universities are active participants in EU research and innovation programmes. These programmes enhance UK research by tapping into expertise from many different types of partners from several different countries in a single project. They also help universities and researchers to build international networks and support projects and infrastructures at a scale that would not be possible for a single nation to tackle alone.

The Russell Group has called on the Government to prioritise research and innovation in the Brexit negotiations and to ensure UK universities and other partners can continue to lead, participate in and contribute to EU research after Brexit.


Our universities are at the heart of fundamental international research into the grand challenges facing society, such as healthy ageing, clean energy and food security. This includes working with partners from every continent, including playing a leading role in addressing problems faced by developing countries through initiatives such as the Global Challenges Research Fund.


The European exchange programme Erasmus+ is greatly valued by our universities, their staff and students. Giving students the opportunity to study abroad can help improve language skills, enhance cultural awareness, expose new methods of learning and working, and increase independence and maturity. These are skills and experiences that are highly sought-after by employers and are vital to the UK’s future success. Visiting European students and staff enhance the diverse student population at our universities and can be a key part of our universities’ global outlook.

We hope the Government will secure a good deal for future UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme after Brexit to enable continued valuable academic and cultural exchange for UK and EU students and staff.

Media Enquiries
Policy Enquiries
  • Stephanie Smith

    020 38161 310