All of us, I expect, are still trying to understand the implications of the referendum last week, and I know that this may be of real concern to those of you who are citizens of other EU nations working here at the University. This is a very uncertain time, and while I expect it will be a while before we understand all of the effects of this decision, I know that it is starting to impact on many of you, and your families now.
I cannot emphasise enough how much we value the contribution of all of our international staff, and how important it is to the University that we remain thoroughly international in our outlook. We employ people from 70 different countries, including 23 of the remaining EU nations, from porters to Professors. Our students represent over 100 different nationalities and one of the really strong selling points for our students is the diversity of our international staff. While we cannot yet see what the future will bring, where we can influence Government policy, and where we can make our own choices, they will be to sustain our strong international workforce. In meeting with other University Vice-Chancellors, I know that they are of the same view, so with the combined voices of the Higher Education sector all saying the same thing, I am sure that our opinions will be listened to.
You may have seen speculation in the media about what the referendum decision will mean for EU citizens currently living and working the UK. The ‘Leave’ campaign was giving assurances, but as we understand it, until the UK enters into a negotiation with the EU about the terms of the exit, and reaches agreement, the future legal position remains unclear. However, for those of you seeking to base yourselves in the UK, there are routes today which can help you achieve this and take away some of the uncertainty. More information is available from UK Visas and Immigration and we will also be publishing some advice next week.
We need to keep talking to you and listening to your concerns over this time of uncertainty. I have committed that we will do all we can to ensure that you get the information you need as soon as it is available. We will make this available on the University website, but if you do have particular anxieties which are not being addressed, please do speak to your line manager. I have asked all of the members of my senior team to take a lead in how this affects their particular area of responsibility, and they are also keen to hear views and concerns from our staff.
Thank you for your commitment to the University of Bath, and the way you make us unique. I look forward to more discussions with all of you about how, in line with our new strategy, we can become an even more successful international University.
Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell
President and Vice-Chancellor