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Courtois A. Higher education and Brexit. Current European perspectives. UCL – Centre of Global Higher Education, 2018.ISBN:9789264303393.Pages:460.

We are embarrassed that we missed out on this publication when it first appeared in February 2018. But even more than half a year later, we find it too important not to report on it.

This publication was edited by Aline Courtois of the Centre for Global Higher Education at UCL. As its title says, it looks at the implications of the Brexit in the field of higher education. The authors of its, mainly country-based chapters, read like a Who’s who in European higher education. Among them are Ellen Hazelkorn, Marijk van der Wende, Peter Maassen, to mention but some. The book contains a foreword by Simon Marginson, Susan Wright and Marijk van der Wende and a general Introduction by the editor.

The bulk of the publication consists of country chapters, devoted to Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Kingdom itself. The country chapters address the implications of the Brexit from the particular country’s perspective, but also the likely consequences for collaboration between UK and continental universities, not least in terms of access to European funding sources, and of course the effects of the Brexit on UK higher education itself. Even though the interviews which led to the country chapters were conducted between April and November 2017 already, the study remains a worthwhile read. 

The editor, Dr Courtois, summed up the findings like this: “The report highlights that Brexit is not an issue for UK higher education only. It creates uncertainty for other countries as well, with fears that research cooperation and academic mobility will be severely affected across the EU and that the region as a whole will lose its competitive edge. The exact impact of Brexit on the higher education sector, in the UK and beyond, is still largely unknown; some countries may benefit in the short term in certain ways, but overall it is perceived as a significant risk.”

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