Trinity College Dublin sees 20% drop in applications from northern students over Brexit
APPLICATIONS from northern students to Trinity College Dublin have dropped by 20 per cent this year amid uncertainty over Brexit.
The university said the decline was a "worrying effect" of the UK's forthcoming departure from the European Union.
Describing itself as one of Ireland's "most successful cross-border institutions" Trinity said it had more students from Belfast than Dublin in the 1950s and 1960s.
Although the numbers of northern students had dropped by the 1990s, applications had been on the rise by 2016.
In an open letter in the Financial Times, published yesterday, Trinity said it was experiencing an increase in applications from British-based academics as a result of Brexit.
"Many of them are outstanding but in truth we'd prefer to keep collaborating with them through existing programmes," the university said.
"We believe many researchers in Ireland, the UK and the EU feel the same."
The university said it was "devastated" by the Brexit vote in June 2016.
It said Brexit threatened "more than four centuries of academic collaboration, enabled over the past four decades by the largest collaborative research network in history, the EU".
Irish and British researchers collaborate on around a thousand projects under the EU's Horizon2020 programme "far more than Ireland has with any other country", Trinity said.
The letter included a quotation from philosopher and Trinity graduate Edmund Burke who said: "Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation and foresight can build up in a hundred years".
Trinity added its own plea for "prudence, deliberation and foresight" around Brexit.