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Universities Lose Funding Even Before Brexit

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

UK Universities are already reporting a fall in the share of funding they receive from the European Union, with vice-chancellors fearing UK projects are losing out even before Brexit has taken place.

Britain's share of funds related to the Horizon 2020 project has already fallen, resulting in millions of pounds no longer available to pay for crucial research.

Figures reveal a downturn in both UK participation in, and funding from, the project. Although there are some general fluctuations in funding, universities are now seeing a downward trend across several key indicators.

There are concerns that Brussels is reluctant to fund UK projects, despite the government agreeing to underwrite scientific research funding once Britain has officially left the EU.

Commenting on the figures, Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said: "It highlights the urgent need for clarity on the UK's participation in Horizon 2020 beyond Brexit and, while the UK is still a member of the EU, the need to communicate that the UK's universities and researchers are still eligible to participate and apply for funding through EU research and innovation programmes.

"The UK benefits enormously from the access to vital networks, funding and talent Horizon 2020 provides. It allows researchers to collaborate with world-leading experts on life-changing research, with knock-on benefits for the economy, society and individuals in the UK."

According to Labour, the UK's share of funding from Horizon 2020 has fallen by more than £100m in the year to September.