Campaign for Social Science comment on the Migration Advisory Committee’s final report on European Economic Area Migration
18 September 2018
The Campaign for Social Science has long argued that any post-Brexit migration system must ensure the excellence and well-being of our UK universities, who do so much to help raise Britain’s reputation and influence around the globe. The MAC report notes that 17% of all higher education staff are from EEA countries – and that figure is nearly identical for the social sciences. A further 12% of academic HEI staff are from other (non-EEA) countries, and that too is true of the social sciences. In a forthcoming report by the Campaign, we show that international staff make up more than three in five academic economists, two in five of those teaching political science, and over a third of those teaching in business studies.
We know that these staff do more than connect us to important global research. They also contribute skills – especially number and data skills in the social sciences – that are in short supply within the UK. We welcome the recommendation that any post-Brexit visa system should abolish the Tier 2 cap on numbers and reduce bureaucracy. We also welcome the recognition that if free movement of EEA citizens ends, visa-free travel could continue, as it is so important for continued academic collaboration with our European colleagues.
Professor Shamit Saggar, FAcSS, Chair of the Campaign for Social Science, says, “The social sciences are, and have long been, international in outlook, and today they are in their staff composition. Because of the excellence this brings, social science makes a huge contribution to life in the UK – economically, in contributions to policy and public debates, and in the evidence they provide about important social issues. Any future visa system should enable migration for those with the qualities and skills needed to keep higher education as vibrant and innovative as it is today. Abolishing the cap on Tier 2 visas is as important for the social sciences as for other disciplines.”
The Campaign for Social Science will soon be publishing more detailed evidence about the role that EEA and other international staff play in the social sciences across all parts of the UK, as an aide to a more informed public debate.
For further information on the Campaign or to speak to an expert on Brexit and the impact on Social Sciences, please contact:
Campaign for Social Sciences
+44 (0) 20 7682 4663