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No-deal Brexit could open door for overseas providers

A no-deal Brexit could make it easier for institutions in other countries to set up branch campuses in the UK, a senior member of the British Council has said.

John Bramwell, senior higher education adviser for the British Council, said that if the UK had to abide by World Trade Organization rules—which would happen automatically in the case of a no-deal Brexit—it could be easier for overseas institutions to establish a campus in the UK. This could be seen as “direct competition” for UK institutions, he said.

“If we fall back onto WTO regulations, we have to offer other countries exactly the same access to the UK as they offer us [to theirs]…that’s the rule,” Bramwell told a Westminster Higher Education Forum on transnational education in London on 2 April. “Under a free trade agreement, if we get the free trade agreement right, we have the opportunity to put the right kind of controls in. But under WTO rules we have to make it open and equally accessible to all.”

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