UWE Bristol VC Steve West responds to the UK decision to leave the EU

Issue date: 24 June 2016

Responding today to the UK decision to leave the European Union, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) Professor Steve West has said that we need to call for a calm response.

Professor West has played a positive part in the campaign to remain and has spoken publically in televised debates about his views concerning the impact of an exit from the EU on higher education.

As the referendum results were announced at 07:00 from the City Hall in Manchester, he tweeted, “Now is the time to calmly find a path that builds bridges where there is difference, connection where there is disconnect and disbelief.”

In his blog, he said, “As we have seen, the British public yesterday voted to leave the European Union.

“This will make Britain the first country to leave the EU since its formation.

“As a University, we will continue to closely monitor the implications of this decision as they unfold.

“Universities UK has advised that there will not be any immediate material change 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 – whose contribution to our University and society we are exceptionally proud of. I want to reassure all that UWE Bristol values their commitment and contribution towards creating a university that is inclusive and forward thinking.

“We are also highly aware of the challenges the referendum has surfaced in terms of social cohesion, tolerance and diversity across the UK. As a country, we need to work together through this period of social and political instability, to rebuild and heal the divisions.

“For UWE Bristol, we are a strong, diverse and multicultural community, proud to unite around our motto of Light, Liberty and Learning. As we move forward we will stay true to our purpose and values, as the new future for the UK in the global economy emerges.”

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