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Foreign-born academics boost impact at home and abroad

International staff are not citizens of nowhere—and they can help UK universities build global networks of engagement, say Cornelia Lawson and her colleagues.

Both economically and socially, universities are among the UK’s most globally oriented institutions. Over 35 per cent of UK university academics are foreign nationals, with those born overseas accounting for more than 60 per cent of the growth in staff numbers in the decade after 2007.

In the same period, research funding from overseas was the only source of support to increase in real terms as domestic sources marked time or fell. UK academics won around €6.9 billion in competitive research funding from the European Union in 2007-13, second only to Germany among member states and accounting for more than 12 per cent of the total budget for Framework 7.

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