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Cambridge Reports 17% Decline in EU Applications Post Brexit

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

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Worrying reports from Cambridge University suggest they could face significant risks from Britain's decision to leave the EU, with a significant reduction in the number of EU student enrolments expected.

The university has written a submission to MPs on the education select committee suggesting that it expects annual admission numbers for EU under and postgraduates to fall by two thirds, from 1,100 to below 400.

In particular, the university said: "Assuming that EU students move to the unregulated international rate, it is almost certain that application numbers will fall further. We are currently modelling a two-third reduction in admissions from the non-UK EU."

According to Neil Carmichael, the Conservative MP who chairs the committee, the written submission highlights the degree of concern facing universities regarding the fate of institutions post-Brexit.

Cambridge is one of the first to reveal a drop in EU applications as its deadline closes well ahead of most other universities. The world renown university reported a decline in applications from the EU of 17%, representing the first solid evidence of a Brexit effect on student numbers.

There is also concern among the Russell Group universities that fewer EU students would not necessarily mean more places for UK nationals. The group said: "If the numbers of EU undergraduate and postgraduate students were to decrease as a result of the UK's withdrawal from the EU, it is not necessarily the case that they could be replaced easily by UK nationals.

Feedback from our members shows that some prospective staff are now changing their minds about continuing with job applications or accepting work contracts because of the Brexit vote."

Despite the concerns raised, Universities UK has suggested higher education could still thrive despite Brexit given the right support and investment from government.