(Universitiesuk) – Universities UK has responded to the report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) looking at the impact of migration from the European Economic Area (EEA).
The MAC took evidence from a range of employers, government departments and industry bodies, including Universities UK.
Responding to the report, Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “It is good to see the MAC acknowledging many of the positive impacts that skilled European workers have on life in the UK. There are nearly 50,000 EU nationals working in UK universities and they make a vitally important contribution to our campuses and communities. There has been a lot of uncertainty for international staff following the Brexit vote and it’s important now that this is addressed as a final Brexit deal is reached.
“In particular, we welcome the recommendations which extend and increase the flexibility of the Tier 2 visa which would help with the recruitment of a broader range of workers and skills than the current system allows. The ability to recruit international staff at a broad range of skill levels, and with minimal barriers, is vital to the continued, global success of our universities.
“We hope the UK government now develops promptly a reshaped immigration system that encourages talented international university staff to choose the UK. If not, we risk losing them to other countries. This does not relate only to international academics and researchers, but also to highly trained international technical and support staff who play such an important role in our universities as well.”