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International Mobility Is Important for the UK and UK Researchers

The UK makes up 5% of OECD countries' population but hosts 15% of the students studying for masters and PhD degrees in OECD countries

Among EU member states, the UK has been the top receiving country for PhD candidates from both within and outside the EU

UK = 48,447

Within Europe: 15,301

Outside Europe: 33,146

France = 27,479

Within Europe: 6,588

Outside Europe: 20,891

Germany = 17,900

Within Europe: 10,000

Outside Europe: 7,900

The number of international students studying in UK research degree programmes tripled from 1994/5 to 2012/13

During FP7 (2007-2013), the UK was the most popular destination for the European MCSA programme, which supports researchers' career development.

Outflow of UK researchers to elsewhere in EU: 600

Inflow of researchers from elsewhere in EU to UK: 3,600

The UK leads the EU in the number of prestigious ERC grants it hosts. In 2016: 117 grants were awarded to researchers who would work in the UK although only 45 grantees had UK nationality.

Increase in percentage of UK academic staff who are non-UK nationals:

2005/6 = 19%

2015/16 = 29%

72% of active UK researchers have trained or worked as researchers abroad

Adapted from International mobility of researchers: A review of the literature by Susan Guthrie, Catherine Lichten, Jennie Corbett and Steven Wooding, RR-1991/1-RS, 2017, available at

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