Oxford University is in talks to set up a campus in Paris to keep EU links post-Brexit

Oxford University is in talks to open its first foreign campus to keep a foot in the European Union after Brexit.

The Telegraph reported that the 700-year old university is considering opening a base in Paris to maintain EU funding links once the UK leaves the trading bloc.

A spokesman for Oxford University told The Telegraph: “Oxford has been an international university throughout its history and it is determined to remain open to the world whatever the future political landscape looks like.”

The paper cites Jean-Michel Blanquer, dean of Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC), who said there were plans to develop an international campus at Universite Paris Sienne.

He told The Telegraph that he had met with officials at the European Commission, Oxford and Warwick University to discuss the proposals.

A French subsidiary would help maintain Oxford’s access to European funding programmes as well as international students. 

Brexit, and potential changes to immigration rules, has already had an effect on foreign student numbers in the UK. The number of applications to UK universities from students in the European Union shrunk by 7% in the wake of the Brexit vote, according to figures from UCAS. EU applications are down to 42,070 from 45,220 the year before.

In December, the Guardian reported that the government is considering cutting annual student visa numbers from 300,000 to 170,000 as part of a post-Brexit drive to lower immigration figures.

Up to 31,000 EU students could be deterred from coming to the UK if the Home Office makes European students pay the same university rates as non-EU nationals after Brexit, which would represent a 57% decline, according to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).

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