Principal’s Statement on Article 50

30 Mar 2017

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University of the West of Scotland is a university with a global brand and an international reach serving students from around 80 nations and with staff from over 30 countries. With more than 110 staff from the European Union and nearly 1200 students from across the EU, it's important to us that all of our colleagues and every student feels valued and supported, in light of the complex political climate that we are operating in.
 
As the UK Government triggers the formal process of the UK’s exit from the European Union through “Article 50”, I want to reassure you that my colleagues and I at University of the West of Scotland remain absolutely committed to engaging in wide-ranging discussions across the UK to highlight the importance of a global perspective to higher education and to maintain the EU and international links that we continue to develop.
 
We want to ensure positive and supportive arrangements are in place to enable our staff and students who are EU citizens to continue as part of the University community, should they so desire. We are also working with colleagues in Universities UK and Universities Scotland to advocate on the rights for EU nationals currently working in the university sector to reside and work in the UK post-exit.
 
Colleagues across UWS will be meeting over coming weeks to discuss the implications of Brexit for the University, and to explore the concerns that our staff and students have and the issues that they are facing. We will feed back our views to the appropriate political and educational organisations and partners.
 
In these discussions we will also be asking what additional support might be useful as we go through this process – for example, potential costs for visas and work permits etc should this be required, and on providing legal information and advice to our staff and students – whilst acknowledging the details associated with citizens’ rights are not yet clear.
 
We positively acknowledge the Scottish Government’s recent announcement on the guarantees for funding for eligible EU students enrolling for studies in 2018/19 that their tuition fees will be covered for the duration of their course, and we welcome this approach to the benefit of our EU students.

We will continue to work with our Students’ Association and directly with students as we seek to maintain and enhance the valuable academic and social contribution students from across Europe make to our University.
 
Professor Craig Mahoney
University Principal & Vice-Chancellor
 
Please note, Universities UK provide additional information relating to UK Higher Education in their Brexit FAQs section of their website.