Rector is optimistic about continuing cooperation with UK universities despite Brexit results

The Brexit situation has caused plenty of dismay in scientific communities. Researchers are worried whether and how it will be possible to participate in international research projects, particularly those initiated with EU Structural Funds support, or cooperation with foreign researchers in general.

ERR Novaator asked the University of Tartu Rector Volli Kalm about the possible impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union on international research cooperation and academic mobility.

Volli Kalm:

The days before, and especially after, the referendum have demonstrated that British universities unanimously opposed Brexit and are actively informing their EU partners of their firm intention to continue all current forms of cooperation, be it admission of students from the EU, employing the people there in academic positions, continuing joint research projects or applying for new ones.

The University of Tartu has also received such letters of confirmation for continuing cooperation from various universities, including the University of Manchester, University of Glasgow, University of Warwick, University College London and university consortiums. For example, the League of European Research Universities (LERU), which is dominated by British universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh, is at the moment inviting us and six other Central and Eastern European research universities to participate in jointly coordinated research cooperation.

The main EU funding measure for research and higher education Horizon 2020 is also open for several EU partner countries and there is no reason to believe that the UK as a non-EU country would not be able to participate in this framework programme.

Also, UT together with Tallinn University of Technology has applied for funding from Horizon 2020 for the ITEE Centre of Excellence in Digital Connected Economy where the University of Edinburgh is also a partner. We are optimistic about the success of this application. Limiting research, development and higher education cooperation with the UK would be foolish and short-sighted by the EU and I am certain it will not happen.

Translated from Estonian, original article:…;
Author: Signe Opermann, University of Tartu 
Senior Research Communication Specialist