Dr Julia Reid MEP, UKIP Science Spokesman, has welcomed a new report on the university workforce, from Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which has revealed that the outcome of the EU referendum has had limited impact on universities’ ability to recruit and retain international staff.
According to figures from the Higher Education Workforce Survey 2017, two-thirds of universities have said that the EU referendum has, to date, had no impact on their ability to recruit or retain staff from EU countries.
In fact, some interviewees reported that they had actually seen an increase in the numbers of non-UK staff responding to vacancies. One interviewee even said that they were “astonished by the number of non-UK applications this year” and said that they’d “had far more applications from outside the UK than in the previous year”.
This comes after Universities UK ran a Universities for Europe campaign, in favour of remaining part of the EU, in which Vice-chancellors, who are represented by Universities UK, had claimed that a vote to leave the EU would have a detrimental effect on the hiring of staff from EU countries, currently 17% of the academic workforce.
Dr Reid, who refuted such claims during the EU referendum, said that she was “not surprised by the results of the survey”.
“Claims that British universities would struggle to hire EU staff as a result of Brexit was nothing more than scaremongering whipped up by establishment Europhiles and the findings of this survey proves just that.”
“With regards to the impact on our universities’ ability to recruit and retain EU staff, come our actual departure from the EU, I believe nothing is likely to change significantly. Even after the UK has taken back control, and introduced a points based immigration system, our universities will still befree to recruit talented scientists from the EU. In fact, it will make their recruitment process easier as they will also have the increased ability to recruit talented people from the rest of the world such as the US, the Commonwealth and China”.