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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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