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  • Working together after Brexit

    (photo: o5com)

    (photo: o5com)

    - University leaders from 24 European countries have stressed the importance of collaboration with their partners in the UK after Brexit. “We are strongest when we tackle issues collaboratively, when we exchange ideas and people, and when we open our hearts and minds to new perspectives and new knowledge.”

    In a joint statement the university leaders point to the great significance of collaboration and exchange of ideas and people throughout Europe. “Collaboration is a cornerstone of innovation and excellence. It is by pooling infrastructure, data and expertise that we can best pursue ground-breaking research which improves people's lives and help to build strong and sustainable knowledge economies.”

    For the benefit of people

    The university leaders acknowledge that the outcome of the UK's referendum on EU membership will mean a new relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe. “We will work together to ensure that the long-standing research and exchange relationships between Europe's universities continue, for the benefit of people across the continent.”

    The joint statement was signed by the leaders of universities’ associations ranging from Spain to Sweden and from Estonia tot he UK itself. Dame Julia Goodfellow, the president of Universities UK welcomed the statement. “While we know the referendum result will have no immediate effect on the UK's participation in EU research and exchange programmes, it is important that we get long-term guarantees that the UK will continue to benefit from opportunities to collaborate with partners on ground-breaking research.”

    Universities UK showed itself an opponent of a Brexit during the referendum. In a first statement Goodfellow said that “leaving the EU would create significant challenges for universities.” For the British universities it was important to keep international scholars at UK universities  as “they make a powerful contribution to university research and teaching and have a positive impact on the British economy and society.”