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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


  1. Ian Axton

Bradshaw calls for Corbyn to resign

Former Labour cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw has called for his leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign.

The Exeter MP issued a stinging attack in an interview with ITV News West Country's Ian Axton. Mr Bradshaw said Jeremy Corbyn was a decent man, but he has no confidence in his leadership.

"His lack of leadership in this campaign has been abysmal. He should shoulder his responsibility and step down. Any leader with any level of human intelligence would reflect on that."

– Ben Bradshaw MP


UKIP chairman defends party's controversial poster

Chairman of UKIP Steve Crowther has defended his party's controversial poster published last week showing a queue of migrants arriving at a Euro border.

Speaking at one of the last debates of the Referendum campaign Mr Crowther joined the founder of pub chain JD Wetherspoon Tim Martin in Exeter to put across their Brexit views.

They are debating against Musician and activist Billy Bragg and former cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw.

Those wishing to leave the UK are on the left, while those campaigning for a remain vote are on the right

When questioned on the controversial ad campaign, Mr Crowther stated the EU had not got a mechanism or ability to stop the flow of migrants - which was what the poster was showing.

But Molly Scott-Cato MEP, said posters like that were spreading fear, adding that it was necessary to separate EU migrants from genuine refugees that were pictured in the poster.

She added the UK was a country that helps refugees and does not turn its back.

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