Nov 13

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Leaving EU would be a ‘disaster’, British universities warn

Leaving EU would be a ‘disaster’, British universities warn

What are the impacts of a potential UK exit from the European Union? How will the economy, industry, agriculture, or even education be affected?

Below, you will find one view from the world of academics,  as published in an article of The Guardian,  with some useful expressions that will make your English flow better. First, find the words starting with ‘pr’. Then check the meaning of the terms marked in red. Good luck!


Academics raise concerns over (1) pr……………………….. of Brexit, arguing membership is crucial for funding and allowing research to thrive.

 A British exit from the EU would be catastrophic for universities and scientific research, leading academics and scientists say, warning it would cost tens of millions of pounds in funding and leave (2) pr……………………………………….. UK institutions struggling to compete on the world stage.

Scientists from fields as diverse as neuroscience, astronomy, robotics, immunology, particle physics, sustainable agriculture, molecular biology, nanotechnology, cancer and photon therapy say a “Brexit” would lead to funding cuts, make recruiting and retaining top academic talent harder, and – crucially – cripple the cross-border collaboration on which research thrives.

Though it is far from clear what relationship Britain could maintain with the EU were it to leave, an overwhelming majority of academics who contacted the Guardian feared the worst. Many pointed to the example of Switzerland, a non-member whose EU research funding was slashed last year after it voted to restrict free movement of European citizens.

Brexit (3) pr………………………………. argue that EU funding shortfall would be made up from the savings generated by ending British EU contributions. They say EU funding is a bureaucratic obstacle and that the government could strike bilateral deals – as have Switzerland, Norway and Israel – to continue to pay into, and benefit from, pooled resources.

A Brexit could, in any event, have a significant impact on the makeup of British universities’ student and academic bodies. According to Universities UK, more than 15% of teaching and research staff at Britain’s 132 universities are non-British EU nationals, including some of the most highly regarded researchers in the country: more than half the European Research Council’s (ERC) prestigious mid-career grants in UK universities are held by researchers from other EU countries.

That fact alone – that a higher (4) pr…………………………… of UK than US research is authored by scientists of more than one nationality – explained why Britain, which represents just 0.9% of the global population, 3.2% of research and development expenditure and 4.1% of researchers, now accounted for 15.9% of the world’s most highly-cited scientific research articles, Smith said – a score that put it in first position globally, ahead of the US.


“Leaving the EU would be a major threat to the overall international success of the UK sector, which punches well above its weight for a relatively small amount of government funding compared to other countries,” said Sir Ian Diamond, vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen. “For my university, it would certainly be one of the biggest threats we could face in terms of maintaining our quality.”

Read the complete article here.

Related posts: Brexit, Grexit … even Spexit. Whose bright idea was this?

Answer Key
(1) prospect
(2) prestigious
(3) proponents
(4) proportion
to thrive: to grow / develop / prosper
to cripple: to disable / weaken
shortfall: lack / deficit
to strike (bilateral deals):  to reach an agreement
to punch above its weight: to achieve or perform at a higher level than expected
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Permanent link to this article: http://www.euenglish.hu/2015/11/leaving-eu-would-be-a-disaster-british-universities-warn/

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