Wessex Scene understands that the University of Southampton Vice Chancellor Professor Christopher Snowden is to send an email to all students to clarify concerns surrounding future circumstances after Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.
In a template email to all students seen by Wessex Scene, the Vice Chancellor discusses a number of areas that could be affected by the loss of EU links, including fees for EU students, postgraduate research funding and study abroad via the Erasmus+ programme.
Universities Minister Jo Johnson confirmed earlier this week that there would be no changes to fees and funding for EU students currently studying in Britain or those who are starting study at a UK institution this autumn.The Vice Chancellor further attempts to reassure any EU students who feel they may be affected by the vote to leave, confirming that ‘the university will maintain UK/EU fee parity for the duration of a course, for all EU students who are enrolled with us for the academic year 2016-17’.
The email also confirms that there will be no immediate changes to EU wide study abroad programmes such as Erasmus+, an area of particular concern to languages students preparing for their year abroad. According to the Vice Chancellor, there will be ‘no immediate change’ to these areas and the university will ‘work to protect our involvement in these schemes for the future’.
The Vice Chancellor also addresses concerns over funding provided by the EU for postgraduate research. In the email he claims it is ‘unlikely’ that there will be any immediate or material changes to this funding. He added that the university is in ‘active discussion’ with organisations representing universities, including Universities UK and the Russell Group, about how to mitigate the ‘various possible impacts’ that voting to leave the EU could have in this area.
The email concludes by stating that the university will continue to work to ensure that the UK remains an attracive destination for ‘talented people from across Europe’ and EU staff and students can continue to work and study at Southampton in the long term. It adds the University of Southampton is a ‘dynamic, ambitious and resilient international institution’ that will ‘successfully navigate a path through this challenging time’.