THE UNIVERSITY of Worcester’s vice-chancellor and chief executive has said there is ‘no doubt’ the institution faces a difficult environment outside the European Union (EU).
Professor David Green spoke out following the EU Referendum which saw a majority of Britons vote to leave the EU.
Prof Green assured there were no immediate implications for students or staff who are EU or European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, which currently accounts for 441 students from 27 of the 28 EU countries.
He also said the university will have the ‘best possible’ prospects of negotiating life outside the EU by becoming an ‘even more’ popular choice at which to study nursing and teaching.
However, he warned over the coming weeks and months the practical implications of the referendum result will unfold and the university will have to make sure colleagues, students and prospective students are kept well informed on all directly relevant matters.
“At the University of Worcester, I know we can depend on all our staff and students, whatever their views on political questions and Britain’s membership of the EU, to stand fast for democracy and the very best of human values,” Prof Green said.
“We have recently received authoritative advice from Universities UK that there will be no immediate implications for students or staff who are EU nationals, due to the actual process of Britain withdrawing from the EU being estimated to take at least two years.
“New legislation will be required and it’s uncertain whether Parliament will vote, for example, that EU citizens must have some form of government permission to work in the UK or not, or whether the UK will remain a member of the European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students.
“Two issues which were frequently raised in the referendum campaign were the shortages of nurses and school places and there now seems to be an agreement across the political divide that it would be a very good idea to train more.
“The University of Worcester is one of the country’s very best educators of teachers and nurses and we’ve been consistently campaigning for many years to have the opportunity to increase our place in these vital shortage areas.
“Now these shortages have been acknowledged, it would be very good if the government would immediately allow us to educate more teachers and nurses from this September onwards.”