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Friday 24 June 2016

The Vice-Chancellor's view of the EU

On Friday 24 June, the country awoke to the news that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. I am naturally very disappointed at a decision which will have future implications for UK universities. However, advice from Universities UK (UUK) suggests that any future changes will not happen overnight, and that the sector’s participation in EU programmes, such as Erasmus+, and the immigration status of current and prospective EU students and staff will not see any changes for some time to come.

The Student Loans Company have now confirmed that current EU students and those starting their studies this autumn that have been assessed as eligible will continue to receive their loans and grants until they finish their course (full details provided below).

Our international strategy will remain a key priority for the University and Solent will continue to work with Universities UK and the rest of the sector to seek assurances, give advice and influence future policy to ensure that UK universities continue to be the best in the world.

I would also like to thank those who have expressed their concerns over Solent’s research funding post Brexit, following the recent article in the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. I would like to assure you that Solent is financially stable and will continue to be so.  The percentage quoted in the article comes from a sub set of the University’s reported research income and is not the overall figure;  indeed a recent research grant for more than $1 million comes from the US.

Although we are actively expanding our research and innovation profile, the vast majority of our revenue comes from other income streams. Rest assured, Solent is in a good place from which to face the challenges that the future may bring.

Student Loans Company Statement

(issued 27 June 2016)

“The following statement applies to EU nationals who are currently in receipt of student loans from the Student Loans Company (SLC), and to EU nationals who intend to begin studying from this autumn.

EU nationals or their family members, currently in higher education, and who are assessed as eligible to receive loans and/or grants from the SLC, will continue to receive these loans and grants until they finish their course. This applies to all student finance from the SLC for students in England for which EU nationals are eligible. This includes loans to cover tuition fees (for those resident in the EEA for three years), loans and grants for maintenance (limited to those resident in the UK for at least three years), and some other grants and allowances.

The rules applying to EU nationals, or their family members, who have applied for a place at university from this August to study a course which attracts student support are unchanged”.

Read the full statement >