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UUK head: universities at fault over Brexit and fees

The disconnection of universities from their communities was one of the factors behind the Brexit vote, while higher education has done a bad job of explaining tuition fees, Janet Beer, the outgoing president of Universities UK, has said.

Speaking at the British Council’s Going Global conference in Berlin on 15 May, the vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool said institutions must “build broader support” in their towns and cities. She also commented on Philip Augar’s review of post-18 funding.

“Before the [Brexit] referendum I think we found ourselves in a unique cocktail of circumstances that obviously led to that vote to leave the European Union,” Beer said, naming anti-EU stories in the press, the results of austerity measures since 2010 and a distrust of experts as contributing factors. “Added to that cocktail was universities’ disconnection with their communities.”

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