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EU referendum result – a message from Kingston University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg

Posted Friday 24 June 2016

EU referendum result – a message from Kingston University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg

Kingston University is proud of its role as a dynamic, cosmopolitan university right on the doorstep of one of the most vibrant capital cities in the globe. Our students and staff come from across Europe and beyond – more than 140 countries in total – and the rich cultural heritage, diverse range of experiences, expertise and talent they bring makes Kingston University the very special seat of learning we are all so proud to be part of.

Britain's vote to leave the European Union is a huge decision. There will inevitably be significant issues for higher education institutions across the country to weigh up as more becomes clear about the implications for the sector during the coming weeks and months.

It is important to remember leaving the EU will not happen overnight. There will be a gradual exit process with significant opportunities for the University to influence future higher education policy along the way. For now, we will be going about our day-to-day business as usual, providing the high quality teaching and learning our students expect of us and continuing to conduct the research so vital to expanding knowledge and understanding across a vast array of subjects.

Even when the Government invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to formally start the process of Britain's withdrawal from the EU, there will be a period of at least two years' complex negotiation before changes to higher education policy begin to be implemented.

We are following advice from Universities UK (UUK), the national body that represents all higher education institutions, about the current situation for our students and staff:

  • EU students with a place to start in 2016/17 – EU students enrolling at the University this autumn will be charged the same rate as UK students for tuition fees for the duration of their courses. The Student Loans Company will award loans and grants for eligible students right through until the end of their programmes.
  • Current EU students – The immigration status and associated fee status of current EU students has not changed, nor has their access to student loans.
  • Students from the EU and the UK taking part in the Erasmus programme – There has been no change to Erasmus students' immigration status and they will continue to be eligible for their Erasmus grants until any new policies come into effect.
  • EU staff – The immigration status of EU staff has not changed as a result of the vote. This will remain the case until the Government makes further decisions.

The University remains committed to its mission to be an open and inclusive international institution. We will continue to champion the importance of protecting the freedom of movement for EU students and work hard to ensure our access to EU research networks and funding is protected as fully as possible. 

It is imperative that we retain a strong voice and play a leading role in convincing the Government to take steps to ensure students and staff from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities in the longer term. We must strive to ensure the United Kingdom remains a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds that make such a powerful contribution to research and teaching and have such a positive impact on the British economy and society as a whole.

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