Brexit and UK higher education

K. Mayhew*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


The Brexit vote in 2016 caused consternation in higher education circles. Financial and reputational questions were raised concerning: the number of students from EU countries coming to study in the UK; the ability of the sector to retain and recruit staff from the EU; the threats to research funding; and the ability of UK students to study abroad. This paper tracks developments since then. Much remains uncertain and the picture has been complicated by the impact of Covid-19. Though enrolments of EU citizens for the 2021-22 academic year have fallen dramatically, this has been more than offset by larger numbers of UK entrants and entrants from non-EU countries. The main immediate threat is to research funding, partly because of restricted access to EU programmes and partly because of constrained government spending. The longer-term threat is to the sector's relationship with European academia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalOxford Review of Economic Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022


  • Brexit
  • higher education
  • funding research
  • students
  • immigration

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