The Chartered ABS is monitoring the ongoing developments around Brexit to ensure that areas of interest for UK business schools are addressed. We are aware that Brexit is impacting on student recruitment, research funding and partnerships. At the same time, there is scope for Brexit to lead to opportunities as well as threats to the sector.

Why the EU is important to UK business schools

  • Business students from the EU are estimated to contribute £1.3bn to the UK economy each year through course fees and off-campus spending [i]
  • £119m of business students' spending goes to universities in course fees
  • One in five of all EU students studying in UK universities are studying in a business school
  • There are 26,495 EU students on business courses
  • UK business schools received £18.2m in research funding from EU sources in 2016/17
  • In three of the last four years, business and management received more funding from EU government bodies than from the UK central government

[i] Estimate calculated using the economic values of EU students calculated by Universities UK & Oxford Economics, October 2017

Causes for concern

Student recruitment: According to our 2017 Annual Membership Survey 40% of UK business schools saw a decline in applicants from the EU to their undergraduate business courses since the EU referendum. One in five schools reported an increase in the number of successful applicants from the EU failing to turn up at the start of the 2017/18 academic year.

Staff recruitment and retention: Since the EU referendum one in six member business schools have already lost EU staff, and a quarter are struggling to recruit new staff from the EU.

Research income: Income from EU government bodies has increased from 17% in 2011/12 to almost a quarter (23%) in 2016/17, becoming a vital source of income to fund important research. However, 44% of business schools expect to lose research funding from EU sources in the next 12 months and there are currently no guarantees that British universities will be able to continue to access European research funding after Brexit.