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University staff and students suffer verbal abuse following Brexit vote

Staff and students at Exeter University have suffered verbal abuse since the Brexit vote last week, it's been revealed.

Many of those who attend the University either to study or to teach come from across the world.

Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice Chancellor

The University hopes it will be able to retain its European links, which are valuable for funding.

In a letter to students and staff Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said there will be no immediate changes to UK universities’ participation in EU programmes.

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.

Understanding the implications of leaving the EU and the effect 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.

– Professor Sir Steve Smith
Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

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Devon Olympian Jo Pavey honoured at Exeter University

Jo Pavey celebrating winning the Women's 10000m Final at the European Championships 2014. Credit: Adam Davy / PA

Devon athlete Jo Pavey, who was made an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours, is to be given an honorary doctorate by Exeter University this morning.

The 41-year-old from West Hill, has competed in four Olympics, and last year won bronze at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the European Championships.

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Scientists overturn idea racehorses can't get any faster

Racehorses are reaching faster and faster speeds, scientists have found, overturning research which suggested they had reached their galloping limit.

A team from the University of Exeter studied a total of 616,084 races run by more than 70,000 horses, with a broader focus on sprint races.

Racehorses are reaching ever-faster speeds, the study found Credit: PA

Previous research, which suggested speeds had reached a plateau, had largely concentrated on a small number of middle- to long-distance races.

It is not yet known whether the faster pace is down to breeding, better training, better jockeys, or a combination of these.

Researcher Dr Patrick Sharman said:

There has been a general consensus over the last 30 years that horse speeds appeared to be stagnating.

Our study shows that this is not the case and, by using a much larger dataset than previously analysed, we have revealed that horses have been getting faster. Interestingly, both the historical and current rate of improvement is greatest over sprint distances.

The challenge now is to find out whether this pattern of improvement has a genetic basis.

– Dr Patrick Sharman, University of Exeter

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Fish genetically mutated by Cornish mining

Research at Exeter University has linked the evolution of fish to pollution from Cornwall's mining boom.

Scientists have found that pollution from historic mines in the South West has "severely affected" the genetic diversity of local populations of brown trout.

The report highlights the difference between so-called clean rivers like the Camel and the Fal, with more contaminated rivers such as the Hayle.

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