Referendum Result: Update

 2 June 2016

Following my earlier message about the referendum result, you might like to note the statements below that have been issued by Universities UK and Universities Scotland, along with further clarifications on specific points of interest for staff and students.

Statement from Universities UK

Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK said:

“Leaving the EU will create significant challenges for universities. Although this is not an outcome that we wished or campaigned for, we respect the decision of the UK electorate. We should remember that leaving the EU will not happen overnight – there will be a gradual exit process with significant opportunities to seek assurances and influence future policy.

“Throughout the transition period our focus will be on securing support that allows our universities to continue to be global in their outlook, internationally networked and an attractive destination for talented people from across Europe. These features are central to ensuring that British universities continue to be the best in the world. 

“Our first priority will be to convince the UK Government to take steps to ensure that staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities in the long term, and to promote the UK as a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds. They make a powerful contribution to university research and teaching and have a positive impact on the British economy and society. We will also prioritise securing opportunities for our researchers and students to access vital pan-European programmes and build new global networks.”

Statement from Universities Scotland

A spokesperson from Universities Scotland said: “The electorate has made its choice and we respect its decision. This outcome has a number of significant and direct implications for Scotland’s universities but the most important thing right now is to advise EU staff and students working and studying in our Scottish institutions that nothing changes overnight as a result of this referendum result.

“Higher education is truly global; it transcends borders. Our relationships with Europe, European universities and other institutions remain very important to us and we will work with all Governments and stakeholders to ensure those relationships are preserved under the new arrangements.

“Our priorities are to influence the negotiations for the terms of Scotland, and the UK’s, future relationship with the EU. We want to retain the right for staff and students from EU countries to continue working and studying in Scotland and to negotiate access to European programmes for students, staff and research. We believe this is compatible with the electorate’s decision and would be to the benefit of Scotland and the UK.”

Clarifications:

  • EU staff: immigration status of EU staff has not changed as a result of the vote. This will remain the case until the Government decides otherwise.
  • Current EU students' immigration status and associated fee status, as well as their access to the student loan book, have not changed as a result of the vote. This will remain the case until the Government decides otherwise.
  • EU students with a place to start in academic year 2016/17 and 2017/18: at this stage there is no reason to assume any change to their immigration status or access to the student loan book. Given the differing arrangements in Scotland, the University will seek clarification in terms of tuition fee grant and/or access to loans from the Scottish Government.
  • EU students studying in the UK under the Erasmus programme: their immigration status has not changed, and they continue to be eligible for their Erasmus grant until at least as long as we remain a member of the EU and possibly beyond that point.
  • UK students studying in the EU and elsewhere under the Erasmus programme: their immigration status has not changed, and they continue to be eligible for their Erasmus grant until at least as long as we remain a member of the EU and possibly beyond that point.
  • All staff currently undertaking EU funded projects: the UK’s status as a full participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme has not changed as a result of the referendum vote. Existing project grants and contracts will be honoured unless or until advised otherwise. Detailed advice on prospective and currently negotiated projects will be circulated as soon as is possible by Universities UK, which is liaising with the UK Research Office and European Commission.

With regards,

Petra

Professor Petra Wend PhD FRSA FRSE
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Queen Margaret University