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The future of Kent in the wake of Brexit

The University of Kent has wished to reassure staff, students, and applicants to the University that the outcome of the EU referendum will not impact on its position as “the UK’s European University”.

Dame Julia Goodfellow, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “The University of Kent is proud to be outward facing and international. We are especially proud of our diverse student body and our European and international staff. We recognise that we benefit greatly from this diversity.

“I am naturally disappointed at the result of the EU referendum. It reflects neither my personal views nor those of the University. I recognise, nonetheless, the democratic process that has led to this outcome.

“I want to reassure all staff and students that we are committed to supporting them through the uncertain period as the UK negotiates its exit from the European Union.

“There are at this stage many unknowns. I will be setting up a working group to look in detail at the issues for the University. In the meantime, any non-UK European staff members with particular concerns should contact Human Resources Department ( Non-UK European students should contact the Dean for Internationalisation in the first instance (

“The University of Kent continues to be one of the nation’s leading universities, offering both an outstanding student experience and world-leading research. We also continue to be proud to remain the United Kingdom’s European university.”

Prior to the decision to leave the European Union, InQuire asked the University what the University planned to do should the UK vote to leave the EU. This was particularly in regard to the various European centres Kent boasts of. The response received was that, “Kent is and will remain the UK’s European University.”

Read more: Why it’s okay to be angry about Brexit – Sunny Singh

The Vice-Chancellor will host two question and answer sessions for staff and students regarding the referendum result. Tickets must be booked ahead of time through eventbrite. The first will take place on the Canterbury campus at 4:00pm on 27 June in Keynes Lecture Theatre One. The second event will be held in Medway at 10:00am on 30 June in Pilkington Lecture Theatre.

The email sent to applicants to the University differed slightly to the emails received by staff and students. EU students were reassured that those starting in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 academic years would be unlikely to face a change to their immigration status, fee status, or access to student loans.

Erasmus students were also told that they will be eligible for the Erasmus grant while the UK remains a part of the EU, and further suggested that the grant may still be received after the UK has fully separated.

The University has contacted relevant government agencies regarding issues the University may face on EU students and has advised that students will be contacted should any changes affect students following the referendum.

Update 27/6: The Student Loans Company have stated that EU students currently studying in the UK, and those due to start their studies in September, will receive the same loan and grant conditions as expected prior to the referendum for the duration of their degree. What can be expected for EU students who start their course in 2017/18 has not yet been addressed.

Jo Johnson, the Universities minister who was on the side of ‘vote remain’, has reaffirmed the UK’s welcome to EU students.

The NUS has also responded to the ‘leave’ result of the referendum.

“Whilst that vision was rejected today, it is not gone. It carries on in you, through students’ unions, across the UK.”

National President, Megan Dunn, said: “The result raises many critical questions for students and for their futures, and we now more than ever need to ensure that the student voice continues to be heard and reflected as we move forward. We know that this decision will affect young people hugely, and it would be wrong if the older generation were to dominate discussions and decisions.


Read more: The real reason behind Britain voting to leave the EU – Alex Maskill

“Early this morning I wrote to Downing Street and BIS Ministers to address immediate concerns around the status of UK students studying in the EU, and EU students studying in the UK.

“NUS, like other organisations, is now working to address a number of other practical questions about the implications Brexit will have on our membership and wider society. We hope you will work with us to look at the impact of this on all students and students unions, and to protect students’ rights to a transformative education and their wider rights within this.

“The campaigning, debates and activities you have carried out have been vibrant and engaging, and we should celebrate students’ unions role in civic society. Your fantastic work has ensured students were registered to vote and has kept students informed on the issues. Students’ unions power comes from working with other people for a shared, better world. Whilst that vision was rejected today, it is not gone. It carries on in you, through students’ unions, across the UK.

How do you think the vote to leave the EU will impact on the University of Kent and its students?

  • Large impact (100%, 6 Votes)
  • Some impact (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Low impact (0%, 0 Votes)
  • No impact (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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This poll will close midday 11 July.

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