Gender pay gap expert among top professors quitting Brexit Britain
Leading academics in climate policy and economics have also had enough of hostility – and funding goes with them
Joy, joy to behold:
When the EU referendum result was announced Vera Troeger, professor of quantitative political economy at Warwick University, was at an academic conference in Brussels. She spent the whole day crying. Today she has had enough, and is leaving the country where she has built her career.
Troeger, an expert on the gender pay gap and the impact of parental leave policies on productivity, was associate editor of one of the most highly ranked academic journals in political science. She has been in the UK for 14 years and loves Warwick, but she has accepted a professorship at the University of Hamburg. After more than two years of uncertainty, she says other European colleagues, too, are preparing to go.
“I have a lot of academic friends over here from Spain, Italy and France, and they have all congratulated me on leaving all this behind,” she says. “Of course the academics who will be able to leave are mostly the successful ones. It will be a brain drain.”
Last week Universities UK, the vice-chancellors’ body, criticised the government for failing to provide enough protection for research in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The government pledged to underwrite awards from the European Research Council’s €77bn (£67bn) seven-year Horizon 2020 programme. But furious academics have discovered that while existing grants will be covered, there is no funding for new applications in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Horizon 2020 funding being allocated to those who push the EU’s line on such matters anyway, right?
So, good riddance.