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Cambridge University Says EU Applications Fell After Brexit Vote

  • EU applications for next year’s undergraduates fell 14 percent
  • U.K.’s second-oldest university cites uncertainty as cause

The University of Cambridge, which boasts more Nobel awards than any other institution, said student applications from European Union nations fell after the U.K.’s June vote to leave the 28-nation bloc.

EU applications for undergraduate courses for admission in 2017 fell 14 percent, even as the total number of students applying rose by 3 percent, the country’s second-oldest university after Oxford said in written evidence published on Thursday by Parliament’s cross-party Education Select Committee.

“It is clear that uncertainty around EU student status will create turbulence in numbers applying and being admitted, and the university anticipates a fall in numbers,” the 800-year-old university said. “We are already seeing signs of reduction in numbers of EU undergraduate applicants.”

U.K. Parliament’s committees have embarked on a series of inquiries into the effects of Brexit on everything from tourism and health to energy and climate policy. Universities are particularly concerned about their ability to attract foreign students and staff.

Cambridge recommended the government exclude students from net immigration statistics, a view echoed in a separate submission by the London School of Economics. The university also urged the government to provide “greater long-term certainty” for EU student finance. The LSE called for continued access to EU research-funding programs, and guarantees for current EU staff.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Monday rebuffed a call by the opposition Labour party to exclude students from immigration numbers, saying “more than 12 months and they represent an immigrant, and therefore are part of the numbers.”

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