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A ‘no deal’ end-2020 exit from the current post-Brexit transition period is likely to hit the U.K.’s universities hard.

The sector is particularly concerned about possible termination of mutual UK-EU recognition of academic qualifications in key vocational fields.

‘No deal’ is also likely to substantially reduce British universities’ abilities to collaborate with EU universities in key new research projects.

Leaving without a deal will also have huge funding implications for Britain’s universities – because the numbers of EU students will decline and EU grants to UK universities will cease.

There are also concerns that, at some stage, UK students will find it more difficult to study in the EU – and that EU students will likewise be less able to study in the UK.

The twin effects, of coronavirus and a potential ‘no deal’ or equivalent exit, could affect the viability of a number of UK universities – and that, in turn, will reduce the higher educational opportunities available to UK students.

Even where universities themselves continue to be viable, the funding and other impacts of coronavirus and a potential ‘no deal’ could lead to the discontinuation of some departments and some courses, thus further damaging higher education in this country.

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