This week we take a look at reports published by Elsevier, as well as the new Open Doors report published by the Institute of International Education. How do global researchers feel about funding UK research post Brexit? Which country has shown impressive trends in mobility? We cover that and more in this week’s HE Bite.
Elsevier recently published the results of their survey exploring, in part, the global attitudes of researchers and academics on European Union funding distribution post Brexit. Last month, amid Jo Johnson’s calls for localised research engagement at HEFCE, The European Commission noted that if the UK left the EU without an agreement with Brussels, British researchers would lose their access to Horizon 2020 grants.
The findings of the survey suggest that there is resistance from academics on the level of funding that should be given to British researchers after Brexit. Per the survey, only 52% of EU respondents supported UK universities and research institutions gaining access to Horizon 2020. However, among Non-EU the percentage was 60.
Additionally, the report included qualitative, non-survey based findings that allowed researchers to delve into attitudes and perceptions of participating respondents. Findings from qualitative research indicate that the lack of support for Horizon 2020 funding from EU researchers is in part due to concerns that UK universities will be able to benefit from EU without doing its part to ensure that researchers are able to travel and work freely in the UK.
Published in the “Impacts and strategies” section the reports offers the following insights into dealing with the matter,
“Actions noticed so far suggest that universities are mainly focused on communication and information, while, according to British researchers, their main focus should be on partnering with EU universities, and on supporting visa applications for EU staff, both legally and financially.”
This survey comes at a time of increasing panic for universities who are concerned that the lack of clarity on the rights of EU staff will result in many of them leaving the United Kingdom.
In other UK HE news that takes us back to the summer, the Guardian reports that emergency meetings are being held at Bath University to discuss issues with leadership and VC pay after Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) issued a damning report.
Students are also reportedly planning protests next week over the lack of transparency in dealing with objections to financial decisions.
International Markets Spotlight: Open Doors Report 2017
The Institute of International Education’s annual Open Doors report cited a growth rate of 3% in the US market in the past year. The total number of international students in the U.S. increased by over three percent for the 2016/2017 academic year, however new enrolment decreased in similar numbers.
The slow growth rate has been attributed to a myriad of factors. It is interesting to note that Brazil and Saudi Arabia both showed a significant slowdown in growth after government-funded scholarship programmes were scaled back in both countries due to economic conditions. In fact, Canada’s increase in international students has been hailed as an HE success story (partly in light of Brexit and US political rhetoric) however Canada saw declines in Saudi Arabian student numbers, suggesting that some markets are becoming smaller, rather than disenfranchised.
Development of new regional TNE in Southeast Asia and China have begun to increase global competition for providers. Threats posed to international students by political rhetoric and threats to the H1B visa in the United States are also among concerns cited by US Higher Education stakeholders.