Universities warn no deal Brexit is ‘biggest-ever threat’

University heads are warning a no-deal Brexit is “one of the biggest threats” the institutions have ever faced.

Higher education leaders have written to MPs to say it is “no exaggeration” to warn that it would take universities “decades to recover”.

They say it would undermine scientific research and threaten universities’ £21bn contribution to the UK economy.

The government has said its immigration plans will keep universities “open to the talent we need from Europe”.

A joint letter sent to all MPs on behalf of the heads of 150 UK universities says: “Vital research links will be compromised, from new cancer treatments to technologies combating climate change.

“The valuable exchange of students, staff and knowledge would be seriously damaged,” adds the letter from university groups including Universities UK, the Russell Group, Guild HE, Million Plus and University Alliance.

Funding threat or fearmongering?
Dame Janet Beer, president of Universities UK, warned that “time is running out”.

She says that without “cast-iron assurances” about the UK’s access to European research networks, world-leading researchers will be lost to other countries where “funding is not at risk”.  Read more

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Excluded schoolchildren are at serious risk of becoming involved in knife crime

According to Barnardo’s, children’s charity, excluded children are also at risk of “being groomed and exploited by criminal gangs”.

The charity said 47 councils, about one in three in England, had no spaces in pupil referral units (PRU), which look after excluded children. The government said a review of school exclusions and their impact on children was ongoing.

The research, which was carried out in collaboration with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime, shows a 56% rise in exclusions in England since 2014.

The group’s chairwoman, Sarah Jones, said knife crime was at its highest level on record and “our schools are on the front line”.
She added: “Exclusions are rising and in many cases there is literally nowhere for those children to go. This is heartbreaking.”

She said excluded children were “marked as failures”, and added professionals often talk about the “PRU to prison pipeline”. Read more