UCL and Brexit


Brexit Mitigation at UCL

Since the referendum, UCL has maintained high-level working groups in order to anticipate, plan for and mitigate the impact of Brexit on UCL as an institution.

A view looking out from the UCL Quad
Held monthly and chaired by UCL’s President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, the UCL Brexit Mitigation Group (BMG) was in place 2016-2020. It comprised the Dean of Life Sciences, most Vice-Provosts, the Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe), the Head of UCL’s European Research and Innovation Office, and the senior management of Human Resources, Communications and Marketing, and Media Relations.

Since the UK withdrew from the European Union on 31 January 2020, Brexit-related planning was mainstreamed into professional services and academic departments. An oversight group and an operational and planning group continued to work at the highest level to provide strategic guidance and implement preparatory work.

Five areas formed the core of our work:

  • Immigration policy and citizen status
  • Student and staff mobility, and the recognition of qualifications
  • Student fees and loans
  • Research funding access
  • Longer term prospects

Preparing for a "no-deal" scenario

Since October 2018, UCL’s Brexit mitigation work has given priority focus to ensuring that UCL is as prepared as possible for a “no-deal” scenario. As part of our preparations, we analysed all of the Government’s “Technical Notices” on a “no-deal” Brexit, more than one hundred in total so far. Once published, these notices were allocated to one of seven “no-deal” Work Plans, each owned by a member of the mitigation and planning groups. On the basis of these analyses, mitigating actions, additional resource requirements were identified and timescales agreed. The seven Work Plans are:

  • Visa and Immigration Policy for Staff and Students
  • Continuity of Service and Supply
  • Research and Research Funding
  • Student Mobility
  • Medicines, Medical Equipment and Regulations
  • Legal and Regulatory Matters
  • Other / Miscellaneous 

These Work Plans are further informed by academic expertise from across UCL and horizon scanning documents provided by the European Institute and the Global Engagement Office.

See here for an example of a government publication for how HEIs should prepare for a “no-deal” Brexit


For more information, please contact Conor Rickford c.rickford@ucl.ac.uk.