UCU response to drop in university applications from EU students

27 October 2016

The number of EU students applying to study at universities has dropped by 9% on last year, according to figures released today (Thursday).

The University and College Union (UCU) urged ministers to scrap the controversial Higher Education Bill and take more care in the language they use to avoid sending dangerous messages to the rest of the world that students are not welcome here.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'Although these figures are for a small number of courses with an early deadline, they are still concerning. We don't think the delay from the government confirming the deal for EU students was helpful, and fear continued confusion over what the vote to leave means for universities is likely to harm our chances of encouraging students and staff to come to our universities.

'Some of the unhelpful language from ministers is, understandably, being reported around the world and sending a worrying message that we are not open for business. The government should pause the current Higher Education Bill and focus on clearing up what Brexit means for our universities - starting with guaranteeing the status of the thousands of EU staff working in our universities.'

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