Vice-Chancellor to students: ‘Nothing will change immediately’

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Vice-Chancellor and Principal Gerry McCormac

Stirling’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Gerry McCormac has stressed that “nothing will happen immediately” to EU students and staff at Stirling University following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

In a statement released this afternoon by Stirling University, McCormac said that Britain’s vote to leave the EU was “not the result I had hoped for”.

He said: “The influence our EU staff and students have over our university life and the experience others have at university cannot be overstated.

“The richness of experience and mutual understanding of cultural differences provided by young people from across Europe, who live and learn together is immeasurable.”

McCormac added that unless there is unilateral action from the UK government, Brexit will not affect the status of current and prospective EU students and staff, nor will it have immediate effect on UK’s membership of Horizon 2020 or ERASMUS.

“The University welcomes and values staff and students from across the EU and internationally and will continue to do so,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

“During the coming months I will be working with the Scottish and UK governments to ensure that Stirling’s voice is heard in discussions and negotiations in order to secure the best access and opportunities for our students, staff and research projects.”

McCormac had earlier this week warned of the consequences of a Leave vote in a joint letter signed by the leaders of 103 UK universities.

62% of Scottish voters voted to remain in the European Union, with every local authority area in Scotland voting Remain.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has declared that a second independence referendum “is on the table”.

Stirling voted to Remain in the EU by 67.7%, with a turnout of 74% – a significant increase from the Scottish elections held earlier this year.

In an interview this morning with Central FM, Stirling MP Steven Paterson called the result “disappointing” and highlighted the disparity between Scotland’s vote and that of England and Wales.

Universities Scotland released a statement today stating that, while there are direct consequences to EU staff and students in the UK, they will “respect [the electorate’s] decision”.

“Higher education is truly global; it transcends borders. Our relationships with Europe, European universities and other institutions remain very important to us and we will work with all Governments and stakeholders to ensure those relationships are preserved under the new arrangements.”

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