Now that the Prime Minister has indicated the formal process to negotiate an orderly exit will begin soon, we will need to make provision for these changes within the University.

At this stage there is obviously a good deal of uncertainty about the timetable and the eventual outcome of exit negotiations.

Barring unilateral action from the UK Government, the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material changes to the UK university sector's participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, nor to the immigration status of current and prospective EU students and staff.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty foresees a two-year negotiation process between the UK and other Member States, during which time the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union will be decided.  However, there are some groups of university staff and students who will be understandably concerned about the future, and I would like to reassure you of the following situations as the sector currently understands them:

  • EU staff: your immigration status has not changed as a result of the vote. This will remain the case until the Government decides otherwise.
  • Current EU students: your immigration status and associated fee status, as well as access to the student loan book, have not changed as a result of the vote. This will remain the case until the Government decides otherwise.
  • EU students with a place to start in academic year 2016/17 and 2017/18: at this stage there is no reason to assume any change to your immigration status or access to student loan book.
  • EU students studying in the UK under the Erasmus programme: your immigration status has not changed, and you will continue to be eligible for 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: your immigration status has not changed, and you will continue to be eligible for Erasmus grant until at least as long as we remain a member of the EU and could well be extended beyond this.
  • All staff currently undertaking EU funded projects: the UK's status as a full participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme has not changed as a result of the referendum vote, and existing project grants and contracts will be honoured unless or until advised otherwise.

Over the forthcoming weeks and months the picture will become clearer and I will update members of the university community as we learn more.

Before I sign off, I'd like to say one more thing: diversity and international reach are key strengths of our organisation. Very many EU nationals, and those from other parts of the globe, have chosen to work and to study at Greenwich, playing an integral part in our success. They are valued members of our university community and have a warm welcome here, now and into the future.

Professor David Maguire
Vice-Chancellor