Thoughts from Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas
In light of the EU Referendum result and the unexpected resignation of David Cameron, I would like to offer you some reassurance on the University of Central Lancashire’s position and our plans for the University going forward.
UCLan joined the vast majority of other UK universities in backing the Remain campaign and while this this isn’t the result we had hoped for we note the wishes of the majority of voters.
In the meantime, I understand there will be concerns among our staff, students and stakeholders – particularly those working or studying with us from other EU member states. Decoupling from the EU will take time. It’s a complicated process which is likely to take at least two years. Already there are signs coming from Brexit leaders of a softening on key issues including free movement of people and the European Free Trade agreement.
In the coming weeks and months this University will join the sector as a whole in lobbying the Government to clearly set out how it plans to ensure sustainable funding for higher education now and in the future. I also feel the University has an important role to play in these uncertain times by advocating tolerance, inclusion and compassion as the nation begins the process of healing its deep divide.
Our University is in a very financially stable position and the Referendum result will not pose a threat to our future or our Campus Masterplan development. We are also committed to holding EU student fee levels in line with those of home students for 2016/17 and 2017/18, rather than raising them to the rates of International student fees as some institutions may choose to do. EU students entering in 2016 and 2017 will continue at those same fee levels (subject only to inflation) throughout their studies with us. Additionally, the Student Loans Company has confirmed that it will honour funding arrangements for existing and prospective EU students based on its current eligibility criteria and will maintain those loan arrangements throughout students’ studies.
As we move forward we will keep all members of our stakeholder community informed of any developments and challenges which arise following the referendum decision.
Professor Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor