Brexit could prove beneficial for German universities

Graduates throwing hats in the air

Academicians, policy makers and university leaders have indicated that while Brexit could have negative repercussions on UK as well as European countries, one positive aspect for Germany is that German universities could actually benefit from this separation.

According to report based on a series of interviews with a number of academicians, policy makers and university leaders in higher education across 10 European countries between April and November 2017, the Brexit referendum result has led to a decline in number of European academics seeking partnerships for their research from the UK.

Because of this more and more Universities across the Europe see Germany and German Universities as the hub for future studies and research in all major fields. The findings are startling for they indicate that while UK may have been an important player in research, it isn’t as strong and central to Europe as Germany.

Germany is currently the top research collaborator for 19 European countries and the second top collaborator for seven countries. By contrast, the UK is the top collaborator for only one country (Germany) and the second top for nine countries.

The UK’s strong position in European higher education and the market orientation of UK universities also create imbalances and tensions in its relationships with other partners, according to the report. Nonetheless, participants in all the countries studied valued UK academics’ role in leading research consortia and saw the participation of their UK partners as essential to many of their research projects.

The report reveals a mixture of anxiety and hope. The loss of the UK as an academic exchange partner was a concern for countries sending significant numbers of students to the UK. On the other hand, for countries where universities offer tuition in English, the departure of the UK from the EU was seen as an opportunity for increasing incoming numbers.


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