EU academics at UK universities double in a decade

The number of EU academics working at UK universities has doubled in the last decade.

Figures show that almost one in five academic staff at UK institutions in 2016/17 were from the EU.

A further one in eight were from countries outside the European Union.

The statistics, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), are for the 2016/17 year - the period shortly after the Brexit vote.

  • 17.5% in 2016/17

  • 17% in 2015/16

  • 10.8% in 2006/07

Of the academic staff whose nationality was known, 35,920 were from EU nations outside the UK - up by around 6% compared with the year before when there were 33,735.

It is double the number in 2006/07 when there were 17,320 academic staff from EU nations.

EU nationals now make up around 17.5% of academic staff, compared with 17% in 2015/16 and 10.8% in 2006/07.

The numbers of UK academics working at UK universities has also increased over the last 10 years.

The latest figures also show there were 25,660 international academics - those from countries outside the EU - at UK institutions in 2016/17, compared with 24,535 in 2015/16.

These numbers have also grown in the last decade, up from 17,435 in 2006/07.

It means that academics from outside the EU now make up around 12.5% of academic staff at UK universities, compared with 12.4% the previous year and 10.9% in 2006/07.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of vice-chancellors' group Universities UK, said: "Despite fierce competition from other countries, the UK remains one of the most attractive places in the world for talented international academics to work.

"International staff make a vital contribution to research and teaching at UK universities, benefiting students and local communities.

"Developing a post-exit immigration system, with minimal barriers to allow talented international staff and students to work and study in the UK, must be a priority."