The University of York has announced it will open a new campus in Greece, using existing buildings, which will see more than 700 students enrol in autumn 2021, in a bid to stay connected to Europe after Brexit.
It comes as a number of British universities are building campuses across Europe, to tempt students with new locations and access to jobs in the EU after Brexit.
The University of York, in partnership with CITY College - a leading provider of UK degrees based in Thessaloniki, Greece - will offer undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA and doctoral programmes, leading to University of York degrees.
The two institutions will build the relationship to co-develop new programmes across European regions, establish joint research and supervision opportunities, develop new staff exchanges and student work or study abroad placements, and share access such as library resources.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post Professor Saul Tendler, the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of York, said that students would be recruited from Greece and neighboring countries, by CITY College.
He added the new partnership also opens up the opportunity for UK students, from the University of York, to undertake a full year or a semester on the campus in Thessaloniki.
Professor Tendler said: "It provides that flexibility. They can go there for part of the year or the whole year and take advantage of the base."
Previously British university leaders have said they expect student and staff recruitment to suffer as a result of Brexit, as international and EU students look to other European countries for more affordable, high quality education.
"It will be very likely that we will be able to recruit less students from main land Europe because they are going to be paying a much higher fee," explained Professor Tendler.
He said the University of York was ready to adapt to further plans for expansion.
Professor Tendler said: "As we speak we know that the discussions with Europe are at a pivotal moment - and depending on those outcomes, we may or may not be able to collaborate simply with European Institutions and move students around in a straight forward manner."
He added: "We are busy developing our strategy and how we support our ethos if internationalism.
"We always need to look at this - if one looks at Brexit, if one looks at Covid, if one looks at events around the world - they challenge our international strategy and i think it needs to adapt to the circumstances that we find.
"We are busy exploring what the opportunities would be... and thinking about how we use this as a platform to build our expertise, not only in South East Europe but also into the Balkans and the former Soviet Union."
York's new campus in Greece, follows on from the institute's other European partnership with Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, created in 2017, to deliver major research collaborations, student exchanges and joint education programmes.
Speaking on the new partnership, which builds on York’s strategic response to the forthcoming withdrawal of the UK from the EU, the University of York’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery, said: "Building on our shared values, the relationship will have the public good at its core – contributing to the development of people, societies and economies, extending opportunity and access for all.
"The Europe Campus CITY College is a flagship initiative supporting the University’s ethos of internationalism.
"It will provide a physical presence for the University of York in Europe, and provide a hub for the whole University to connect with academic, government and corporate networks throughout south east Europe and adjacent regions."
The partnership will see York awarding degrees across a range of subject areas, including English Studies, Psychology, Business Administration and Economics, and Computer Science.
Yannis Ververidis, Principal of CITY College, added: “We are delighted to be starting a new era for CITY College with the creation of the University of York Europe Campus.
"After 30 years of successfully delivering UK higher education we have the opportunity to connect our region with one of the world’s top universities and support our shared ambition to build capacity and contribute to the development of our societies."
By opening campuses in other EU member countries, UK institutions will be able to better maintain their relationships with other EU universities and potentially retain funding, university leaders have said.
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