Here at Canterbury Christ Church University our staff and our students from across the EU are, and will continue to be, extremely important members of our diverse and multi-cultural University community. They make a significant contribution to who we are, what we stand for, and our long-term commitment to internationalisation.
The Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, signifying the formal start of the two-year negotiation to agree the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Although the process of withdrawal has now begun, the UK will remain a member of the EU for the next two years - until the end of March 2019.
For staff and students from non-UK EU countries, very little will change in formal terms during this two-year period.
Current students, and those applying to start courses in 2017-18, will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status, and this guarantee will apply for the duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU. We continue to welcome applications from EU students applying for undergraduate, postgraduate taught, and postgraduate research programmes.
We strongly support Universities UK (UUK) in its lobbying of government, on behalf of the whole Higher Education sector, for EU students starting a course in 2018/19 and 2019/20 to continue to be eligible for home fee status, and be eligible for loans and grants.
The government has confirmed that while the UK remains a member of the EU there will be no immediate changes to UK immigration policy for university staff currently in, or contemplating coming to, the UK from the EU. The Prime Minister’s letter triggering Article 50 states that ‘we should aim to strike an early agreement about [the] rights’ of non-UK EU citizens in the UK, and of UK citizens in other EU countries.
However, we are aware that absence of a clear agreement in this area is unsettling for those affected. The University therefore actively supports UUK’s argument to government that it should as a matter of top priority confirm rights to reside and work in the UK post-exit for EU nationals who are currently working in the university sector, and their dependants.
Christ Church is at the forefront of analysis of the local impact of our exit from the EU across different sectors, including business and commerce, agriculture, healthcare, local government, and policing and security. Dr Amelia Hadfield, Director of the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS), regularly provides analysis to the local media on the implications of Brexit for Kent and Medway, analysis which has been been shared with government and stakeholders. More details are available on the CEFEUS website.
Professor David Shepherd