UK votes to leave the European Union – what does this mean for us?

As you will undoubtedly be aware, the UK has voted to leave the European Union. Although this is not an outcome that we wished or campaigned for, we are, and will remain, an international and diverse community that welcomes colleagues and students from all around the world

Over the coming weeks, months and years, the UK will be entering a period of transition while the Government negotiates the UK’s new position in Europe and in the world.

Understanding the implications of leaving the EU and the affect this is likely to have on the UK Higher Education sector, and the University, is not yet known and will take a considerable amount of time to finalise, with a number of commentators suggesting the negotiations will take more than two years to complete.

However, it is important to note that there will be no immediate changes to UK universities’ participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus, nor to the immigration status of current and prospective students and colleagues.

I would also like to reassure everyone that I am already in discussion with Universities UK, fellow Russell Group universities and our UK, European and international partners to ensure the future of UK Universities, and ultimately our university, is not adversely affected by this decision.

I realise the future seems uncertain but it is important to again emphasise that there will be no immediate changes to UK universities’ current policies. I would please ask everyone to participate fully in any future discussions we will have as there will be considerable time and opportunity to influence future Higher Education policies, and therefore to ensure the UK’s exit from the EU is managed as successfully as possible in this area.

With best wishes,

Steve
Professor Sir Steve Smith
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive
University of Exeter

Date: 24 June 2016