Cambridge responds to Brexit

Image credit: Cambridge Assessment

Cambridge University’s Vice Chancellor has responded to Britain’s exit of the EU, pledging that the University will work to limit any negative impact on its academic community.

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz confirmed that despite the electorate’s decision leave the EU, Cambridge will at present continue to work with EU partners. He said that the university will strive to ensure “that our globally important research continues to tackle the issues we face today and in the future.”

The Vice Chancellor pledged to “monitor developments closely, and maintain strong dialogue with the Government.” He argued that it was “too early to say” what the consequences of the vote might be, adding that full understanding of the repercussions might take several years.

The university has also confirmed that EU nationals currently studying as undergraduates at Cambridge will continue to be charged a UK fee rate, for as long as this remains possible under UK Law. This will also apply to 2016 applicants intending to begin study in 2017.

CUSU issued a joint statement from its outgoing sabbatical officers on the referendum result, branding it “deeply concerning”. Their statement confirmed that CUSU will work with the University to safeguard the interests of Cambridge students. It also emphasised the importance of remaining “an inclusive, tolerant and diverse community”.

As a city, Cambridge strongly supported continued membership of the EU, with a 73.8% voting for Remain, and only 26.6% in favour of leaving. This result bucked the regional trend, with 56.5% of voters in the Eastern region backing Brexit. Nationally, 52% of voters favoured an exit from the EU, with 48% voting to remain.

Responding to the result of the referendum, the leader of the city council, Labour Councillor Lewis Herbert, said that the result will have “major consequences for Cambridge.” He stressed the importance of a “combined voice”, and pledged to work alongside local MPs to ensure the best outcome for the city.

Many Cambridge students have voiced concerns about the referendum result. One second-year from Jesus college commented: “This decision is devastating for the entire country and throws the UK into completely unknown and unstable territory. It's also surely going to be incredibly detrimental to the university - both for staff and students. Not to mention an access issue as EU grants are imperative to many students who study here, and I can't imagine the MML tripos won't suffer as a result.”

The Vice Chancellor has stated that further information relating to the effects of the EU decision will be posted on the University’s website when it becomes available.

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