Universities UK has welcomed the news that EU university staff working in the UK will be prioritised in the next phase of the EU settlement scheme pilot.

The new phase of the pilot will open in November and will run until 21 December 2018. EU residents in the UK have until the end of June 2021 to register for settled status.

Alistair Jarvis100x100Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:

“There are nearly 50,000 EU nationals working in UK universities and they make a vitally important contribution to our campuses and communities. Many leading researchers and key university staff in the UK are from other EU countries. This enables our universities to maintain their world-class excellence in teaching and research. Highly trained international technical, professional and support staff also play an important role in our universities.

“We welcome the news therefore that they will be able to obtain settled or pre-settled status as one of the earliest groups in the scheme. This will provide much needed clarity for our EU staff and for universities. It is vital for our economy and society that the UK retains and continues to attract the best and brightest from across Europe post-Brexit.”

According to the latest data, there are nearly 50,000 (49,530) EU staff working in UK higher education institutions (latest HESA data – 2016/17). This represents 12% of the total staff population of 419,710. This is broken down to: 17% of total academic staff at UK universities, or 35,920, are from other EU countries. Among professional services / support staff at UK universities, 6% or 13,610 are from other EU countries. This compares to a total of 33,820 non-EU staff, who make up 8% of total staff. Of total academic staff, 13% (25,660) had a non-EU nationality. Among all professional services / support staff, 4% (8,160) had a non-EU nationality.

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Universities UK responded to the recent (18 Sep) report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) looking at the impact of migration from the European Economic Area (EEA). The report acknowledged the positive impacts that skilled European workers have on life in the UK.

In December 2017, Universities UK highlighted the vital contribution EU staff make to the UK's universities with our #BrightestMinds campaign. It included a collection of case studies highlighting the research and stories of leading EU academics working in UK universities. It illustrated the world-class research carried out by European staff in the UK and how this could be hindered by any further Brexit uncertainty.

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