N8 Director helps advise government on limiting Brexit’s impact on UK Universities


Dr Peter Simpson, Director of N8, has played a key role in advising the government on how to limit the effects of Brexit on UK Universities.

Dr Simpson was part of an advisory panel to the House of Commons Education Committee which has published a new report into the challenges facing universities in post-Brexit Britain.

The paper, ‘Exiting the EU: challenges and opportunities for higher education’, recommends a number of priority areas for the Government’s Brexit negotiations, including staffing, students, research programmes and future collaboration.

As part of a fact-finding exercise for the report, Dr Simpson attended an Education Select committee at Northumbria University. The panel session sought views of some of the region’s most influential figures in higher education about the impact of leaving the EU on universities in Northern England and Scotland.

Dr Simpson called for more investment in Northern research projects. Recommending that Government should strengthen its commitment to place and “have a genuine UK strategy that thinks about opportunity in different regions rather than opportunity purely at a national level.”

His calls were echoed in one of the report’s recommendations, which states that the Government should establish a new regional growth fund to replace investment from European structural funding.

The new report also focuses on securing the status of overseas students, making it clear that it needs to attract talent from the EU and the rest of the world. The paper calls for reforms to the UK’s immigration system to reflect the requirements of the higher education sector.

Dr Simpson said: “The committee’s report has identified several important issues facing UK Universities as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

“One of the key recommendations is securing the status of international students who have an almost universal positive effect on UK economy and society. Overseas students should be celebrated and welcomed into Universities across the North of England.

“It is also encouraging to see that the report also recommends the value of ‘place’ is fully articulated in the allocation of domestic funding, to ensure that all regions can benefit.”

The full report, including Dr Peter Simpson’s contribution can be found here.