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Brexit and Triggering of Article 50: a note from the Vice Chancellor

29/03/2017
Message from Middlesex University Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Blackman

Professor Tim BlackmanToday the Prime Minister will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty which will signify the formal start of the two-year negotiation for the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union. While it is important to stress that the UK will remain a member of the EU for the next two years with no immediate change for universities, I know that the triggering of Article 50 will heighten concerns among many of you. With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to update you on some key areas that will be of importance to our staff and students, and to reassure you that the University will continue to work with Universities UK (UUK) and others to ensure the best possible outcome from the negotiations.

Current EU students

At this stage there is no reason to assume any change to the immigration status of current EU students and the UK government has confirmed that there will be no change to access to student loans for these students.

EU students with a place to start in academic year 2017/18

At this stage there is no reason to assume any change to the immigration status of EU students planning to commence studies in 2017/18 and the UK government has confirmed that there will be no change to access to student loans.

EU students studying in the UK under the Erasmus programme

The immigration status of Erasmus students has not changed, and they continue to be eligible for their Erasmus grant until at least as long as we remain a member of the EU and could well be extended beyond this.

UK students studying in the EU and elsewhere under the Erasmus programme

The immigration status of UK students currently studying under the Erasmus programme has not changed and they continue to be eligible for their Erasmus grant until at least as long as we remain a member of the EU and could well be extended beyond this.

Next steps

UUK are working pro-actively with the UK Government, the European Commission and other relevant agencies to secure a positive outcome from negotiations for UK universities and in particular:

· Confirmation of rights to reside and work in the UK post-exit for EU nationals that are currently working in the university sector and their dependents

- Confirmation that EU students starting a course in 2018/19 and 2019/20 will continue to be eligible for home fee status and be eligible for loans and grants

At Middlesex, we want to continue to bring staff and students from across Europe to our University because they enrich our community and our campus life. I am determined to do all I can to preserve the diversity of our University and our welcome to people from across the world.

We will continue to work to understand and mitigate the risks to Middlesex as the negotiations unfold and will provide further updates as these challenging issues are addressed.

Tim Blackman

Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University

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