Oxford pledge support for the EU

Lili Bidwell 24 April 2016

The University of Oxford has issued a public statement stating their support for remaining part of the European Union (EU). There has been strong support generally from British universities, however Oxford’s official statement is perhaps the most high-profile yet from any individual institution.

The reasons put forward by Oxford for staying in the EU relate to the freedom of movement permitted by the EU and the ways in which this is beneficial to both staff and students alike. Oxford has suggested that the fact that European students are able to attend Oxford University, and that staff and students in Oxford can travel abroad to work and study is essential to the University’s strategic plan. Furthermore, being able to open their doors to foreign staff leads to a higher quality of teaching and expertise.

In a statement released on Friday, the University of Oxford stated that the continuation of Britain's membership in the EU "serves our vision of the University of Oxford as a global hub for intellectual engagement". 

Oxford also stated that their support for the campaign to stay in the EU is for research purposes.

The statement explained that “The EU facilitates our participation in pan-European research collaborations; enables us to contribute to the development of EU research policy to the benefit of the UK as a whole; and provides us with access to EU research funding (of some £66m in 2014-15).” Thus, they claim, leaving the EU would cause great difficulty for the institution.

In March the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, cited similar reasons for staying in the EU in his statement warning about the dangers of leaving the Union.  Borysiewicz stated that over 60% of the research produced by the UK is done thanks to collaboration with the other researchers in the EU, and therefore leaving would be a disaster. He has said that he “cannot identify a single persuasive reason to recommend leaving Europe.”