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UCU response to white paper on immigration

19 December 2018 | last updated: 10 January 2019

Responding to the government's white paper on immigration UCU head of policy Matt Waddup said:

'Our universities and colleges rely on staff and students from around the world. These proposals will significantly worsen the position of EU staff and students and place the UK at a disadvantage. With so much uncertainty at present, we should be doing everything we can to send a message that we are still open to the rest of the world and not pulling down the shutters.

'There are many staff in our colleges and universities performing vital roles but who earn less than £30,000. With recruitment and retention a huge issue for colleges, cutting off one supply route would be foolish. The policy risks putting people off the UK as a place to work at the start of their career with damaging long term consequences.'

New figures show that 43% of engineering and technology staff at UK universities were from outside of the UK (20% EU nationals and 23% non-EU nationals). It was a similar picture in the biological, mathematical and physical sciences, with 39% of staff from overseas (24% EU nationals and 15% non-EU nationals).

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