Almost 50 EU academics from Manchester Metropolitan University have quit in the three years since the Brexit vote, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
17 academics from the EU left Manchester Metropolitan University in 2018/19, the figures show.
The analysis, based on Freedom of Information responses from 81 universities, shows that across the country 4,014 EU academics have left UK universities in 2018/19.
The Liberal Democrats said the figures reveal uncertainty across the North West over freedom of movement and international research funding is leading to a “Brexit brain drain.”
Academics face uncertainty over both their immigration status and their funding following Brexit, meaning the UK risks becoming less competitive in attracting global talent. Previous analysis by the Royal Society has shown that the UK’s share of total EU research funding has already fallen from 15.8 per cent (€1.49bn) in 2015 to 11.3 per cent (€1.06bn) in 2018.
The findings are also consistent with recent research by the higher education industry body Universities UK which reported that 60% of universities surveyed believed they had lost existing or potential staff members to overseas institutions because of Brexit.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Macclesfield, Neil Christian said:
“It is deeply concerning that Brexit has already driven 50 talented academics to abandon the Manchester Metropolitan University alone. We must do everything we can to stop our universities across the country, from being threatened by this Brexit brain drain.
“The Tory party has adopted the xenophobic rhetoric of Nigel Farage, making our colleagues, friends and family from the EU feel unwelcome. The situation risks being made even worse by Boris Johnson’s reckless promise to crash us out of the EU by 2020 no matter the cost.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can still stop Boris, stop Brexit, and protect our university which is so important to local jobs and prosperity. It’s not too late to turn the tide and prevent Boris Johnson from imposing his divisive and damaging Brexit plans in the North West.”