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136 academics have ‘abandoned’ Sussex Uni because of Brexit claims Crawley lib Dem candidate

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136 EU academics from Sussex University have quit in the three years since the Brexit vote, research by the Liberal Democrats claims. This is up 403% from the 27 who left in 2015/16, the year before the Brexit vote.

42 academics from the EU left Sussex 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 that uncertainty across Crawley over freedom of movement and international research funding is leading to a “Brexit brain drain.”

According to the Liberal Democrats, 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 Crawley said:

“It is deeply concerning that Brexit has already drive n 136 talented academics to abandon Sussex University. We must do everything we can to stop our universities 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 situat ion 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 on Crawley.”

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Kickstarting the recovery

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As the challenges of COVID-19 continue to be addressed, the scale of the response across the nation needs to have long-lasting effects.

The Kickstart scheme launches this week to widen job opportunities for young people and I urge employers in Crawley to sign up.

Participating firms will be able to offer young people between 16 and 24 years of age who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement that is fully funded by the Government.

The scheme will see Government pay all of the young persons’ age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week, which the employer can top up if they chose to.

Companies will also be paid £1,500 for each young person they take on as part of the initiative, to support training or other associated costs.

Kickstart is a vital part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs and I hope local employers will participate.

Young people are more likely to have been furloughed than the population as a whole, and we cannot allow them to be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

Creating jobs and helping young people develop the skills to access them is essential. Interested employers can find out more information via: www.gov.uk/kickstart

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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