"We are a proudly international University, embedded within a European tradition"
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Message from Vincenzo Raimo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement)
As Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement I have avoided giving a running commentary on discussions since the vote last year for the UK to leave the European Union. In part this has been because there has been little concrete to say and when there has been we’ve shared news with students and staff. While we’ve been unable to provide answers to key questions, because no one can, we’ve tried to be supportive of our students from or planning to go to other EU countries and we’ve engaged with our partners on the continent. More recently we’ve provided information sessions for staff on the process of attaining permanent resident status and about the application procedure for those wishing to become British citizens.
The other reason for avoiding a running commentary is because while the vote to leave the EU is distressing for many of us, we do not intend it to change our fundamental vision for Reading as a truly globally engaged university. What I said in welcoming our graduates, friends and supporters to our Alumni Homecoming just after the Brexit vote remains true: “We are a proudly international University, embedded within a European tradition and framework. Our students come to us from across the world, as do our staff. And our research and its impact has always, and will continue to ignore national borders. The past 24 hours may make some of our work a little more difficult, but our openness and our welcome to future students and staff, from wherever in the world they may come, will be as strong tomorrow as it is today and as it was yesterday.”
So where do we go from here? We will continue to monitor developments and negotiations carefully, issuing updates as and when appropriate. The Vice-Chancellor and members of the Executive Board will continue to lobby hard with our colleagues at universities across the country and with Universities UK for the case for universities, principally concerning our staff and students, access to research funding and opportunities and in support of European languages and mobility to the continent. We are supported in much of this by our partners across the EU many of whom have sent us expressions of support and continued friendship.
On a practical level, I will bring together our Brexit Working Party again to reassess the risks to our vision and to our operations more generally and, as far as possible, to ensure business as usual for the University – business which continues to see the normal mobility of university people and ideas between here and our partners elsewhere in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
The EU information page has been updated. Click here to access it.