Jun 6, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

The UK’s National Center for Universities and Business (NCUB) has some good news for UK universities in its fourth State of the Relationship report. 

Foreign investment for UK universities to support university-business partnerships exceeded domestic investment—four times.  Foreign businesses invested £1.3 billion, or $1.7 billion.

Why such heavy investment from abroad?  David Docherty, chief executive of the NCUB thinks it’s related to the UK’s reputation of “research excellence.” 

With companies like Boeing, Airbus, and Microsoft investing in the UK though, it’s no surprise that Docherty is a bit nervous about the UK’s impending exit. 

His fear?  With Brexit looming, the UK’s reputation of “research excellence” could diminish—and so could the funding.

As of now, it’s unclear whether the UK will remain in the EU’s research programs after Brexit. 

President of Airbus in the UK, Paul Kahn, stated that he had “real concerns” about the potential for international collaboration in the wake of Brexit.  He also mentioned that Brexit could create new opportunities for the UK—and even encourage some domestic investment. 

He said, “From a business perspective, it does bring an opportunity for business: to engage more with universities, to increase collaboration and, ultimately, for them to increase funding.”

The UK has high hopes for continued investment in university-business partnerships—despite Brexit, international interest remains high.

Learn more about studying in the UK

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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