Source: Brexit and higher education in Ireland
BBB has recently become aware of quite a bit of quiet desperation in higher education circles in Northern Ireland about the likely impact of Brexit in areas from direct funding and student flows to research cooperation. There are also serious concerns south of the border, not least where there is direct collaboration with universities in the north. The Higher Education Authority in the Republic published a 30-page report at the end of November which examines the subject in some detail. It contains an “Issues and Risks” list which shows the breadth and depth of the challenges that Brexit throws up:
- Student mobility and residency rules – Change in residency requirements, and tuition fees/student loans, likely factors influencing student choice; – Students studying in either jurisdiction may be classed as Non-EU students with associated impacts on student assistance/disabilities funds and eligibility for SUSI grants; – Impact on cross-border student mobility, and recruitment;
- International educational programmes – Implications for joint programming/degrees, and other teaching and learning initiatives, especially those funded via EU programmes such as Erasmus+;
- Academic/professional mobility and recruitment – Restrictions/loss of important location for post-graduate qualifications/postqualification experience; – Implications for graduates and professionals training and early career opportunities, and respectively for employment/unemployment in Ireland.
- Research collaboration and funding – Fewer opportunities for collaboration – with corresponding impact on Irish H2020 targets; – Loss of UK contribution could have disproportionate impact on EU/H2020 budget; – Effect on North-South collaboration programmes such as INTERREG; – Departure of strong ally in policy discussions; – Restrictions on UK research funding programmes for non-UK based researchers.