Birmingham & Black Country

University of Birmingham forms Dublin links over Brexit

University of Birmingham and Trinity College Dublin Image copyright Google Maps/ Getty Images
Image caption The University of Birmingham says it will work with Trinity College Dublin 'as students face uncertainty about study opportunities in Europe post-Brexit'

The University of Birmingham has launched a partnership with Trinity College Dublin to "strengthen European links" amid "post-Brexit uncertainty".

Birmingham says Brexit leaves study opportunities in Europe unclear.

But the partnership with Ireland, it says, affords exchange programmes through a "student mobility agreement".

BBC Inside Out West Midlands has been told Birmingham's undergraduate recruitment from EU nations has dropped sharply in recent years.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit outcome, a spokesperson told the programme the university could lose tens of millions of pounds.

Robin Mason, pro-vice-chancellor (international), said: "Since December, we have gone full into considering what might happen if there is no deal at all and we are looking at all aspects."

He added uncertainty over Britain's future had meant some research projects had fallen through, with undergraduate recruitment from the EU falling by 30% over the last two to three years - and no-deal meaning a potential £30m loss of income.

Image copyright Birmingham University
Image caption The agreement was signed by TCD's Dr. Patrick Prendergast and University of Birmingham vice-chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood

Birmingham said the partnership would allow collaboration across three research areas: medical schools' clinical trials; bioengineering; and digital textual editing.

In a statement released on Friday, vice-chancellor Sir David Eastwood said: "Europe continues to be a region of key importance.

"As a major strand in our global engagement strategy, we are building and strengthening partnerships with priority institutions across the EU, and are delighted to agree this key partnership with [Trinity College]."

Trinity College provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said: "I look forward to working closely with the University of Birmingham over the coming months, to strengthening our research links and building our student exchange programmes at such a critical time for both our countries."

The full investigation can be seen on BBC Inside Out West Midlands at 19:30 GMT on BBC One on Monday 28 January and for 30 days after on BBC iPlayer.

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