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Belgian universities could be undermined by a hard Brexit

© Belga
© Belga

The major part of European funding obtained by universities through research consortia is connected to British universities, L’Echo wrote on Tuesday, basing its story on a survey carried out by ULB’s (Cevipol) study centre of political life. Without a divorce contract negotiated between the United Kingdom and the European Union, some Belgian universities could be seriously affected, it adds. 

A “hard” Brexit would give rise to a break in relations between universities on the continent and those in the United Kingdom. This could pose a problem for continental universities regarding access to European funding, most notably, money for collaborative projects.

In Belgium, funds allocated in the context of research consortia represent half of the European research funding. Those funds in which francophone universities participate are overwhelmingly made up of British researchers. 

The University of Mons, which participates exclusively in consortia with the British, is the most dependent of the universities in the French-speaking community on British partnerships, Cevipol’s study, based on 272 projects financed over the last four years, shows.

The Brussels Times

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