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Brexit Support: EU Settlement Scheme and Provost’s View

Benjamin G MMeunier8 November 2018

Dear colleagues,

UCL HR recently circulated the message at the end of this blog to non-British EU staff. In case you missed it, this provides information on the EU Settlement Scheme, which is the scheme arranged by the British government to ensure that EU citizens who are currently living in the UK continue to enjoy the same benefits, including the right to live here, work here and access public services. UCL has scheduled a number of briefing sessions with a specialist law firm, which you are welcome to attend if you are affected. Colleagues who have attended the first session (held yesterday) found it helpful.

You may also be interested in the Provost’s View for this week, which sets out how UCL is responding to Brexit. The Provost places a major emphasis on UCL’s ongoing commitment to support staff and students, as highlighted in the following slides.


 

Full details on the EU Settlement Scheme are provided below. One suggestion from a Library colleague which is being explored is the feasibility of providing access to Android devices for staff who need to register for the EU Settlement scheme – if this can be arranged, I will advise about this separately.

For more information, please see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/brexit. If you have any concerns about Brexit in relation to Library Services, please ask your line manager, myself or any member of the Library SMT.

 

 

The Home Office pilot of the EU Settlement Scheme opens from 15 November 2018 and we would like to provide you with additional support if you are considering making an application. There is further information on the scheme, eligibility and how to apply in this pilot phase below.  

We have also arranged briefing sessions with the law firm, Eversheds Sutherland who will be able to answer any general immigration questions you may have. There are four sessions this month and we would encourage you to register soon as we anticipate places will be in high demand.

Book your place at your preferred briefing session now:

 

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

In advance of the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March 2019, the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members currently living in the UK. This includes the right to live here, work here and access public services such as healthcare and benefits. To retain these rights after 31 December 2020, EU citizens must apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Further detail on the Settlement Scheme can be found on GOV.UK.

 

What is the pilot?

The Home Office is testing the EU Settlement Scheme through a series of pilots ahead of the public launch. This second phase of the pilot starts in November and runs until 21 December this year and covers employees in the higher education and health and social care sectors.

This pilot is testing the application process that EU citizens and their family members will use when the scheme opens fully next year. Feedback about your experience will be used to make improvements to the process before the Scheme fully launches to the public by 30 March 2019.

 

Who is eligible?

You will only be able to take part in the pilot if you are an employee of our [university/institution], and you are:

  • an EU citizen and have a valid biometric passport (this is an e-passport which has a digital chip)
  • or a non-EU citizen family member employed by the [university/institution] and have a biometric residence card with ‘EU Right to Reside’ on the back, which you have applied for on or after 6 April 2015

 

If you are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme pilot you will need to complete a short and simple online application form to: 

  • prove your identity;
  • show that you live in the UK; and
  • declare any serious criminal convictions.

 

Application process during the pilot

To apply to the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to complete an online application:

  • Verify your identity – You will need to have a valid biometric passport or biometric residence card (issued by the Home Office) to apply in this pilot. All applications must use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify identity. This is currently only available to download on Android devices – an easy way to check if your device can use this app, is if your device has the technology to make contactless payments. A number of local authorities are offering an identity verification service to ensure those who do not have access to a suitable device are able to do so.  Details of the locations where this service is being provided will be available on GOV.UK once the pilot launches. If you cannot get access to this app during the pilot there will be alternative ways for you to verify your identity once the scheme fully opens.
  • Criminality check – You will need to complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This should not affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.
  • Verify your residence in the UK – You will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK. There are number of ways you can do this, for example providing your National Insurance number (if you have one). There may be cases where residence cannot be proven automatically in this way, and you will be asked to provide further evidence on your application. Information on the other types of evidence you can use can be found on GOV.UK. Alternatively, if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain, you will just need to provide proof of that status.

 

What happens next? 

  • When this phase of the pilot goes live, we will send you an email inviting you to participate. This email will provide you with the details of how to register your participation.
  • Once you have registered your email address, you will receive an email with a link to complete your online application.

 

Please note that making an application in this pilot is entirely voluntary. There will be no change to your current rights under EU law until the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020. 

The Home Office will be sharing further details on the pilot and how to make an application, which we will pass on to you. In the meantime, the UCL and Brexit website has a range of information available.

What UCL is doing to mitigate Brexit

Benjamin G MMeunier9 May 2018

UCL’s Senior Management Team discussed today how UCL is taking action to mitigate Brexit. There are four key areas:

1. UCL is committed to supporting our EU and overseas staff. UCL has the largest number of non-UK EU academic staff of any university in the UK (2,020 out of 7,415) and the highest number of non-UK EU domiciled students (4,470 out of 37,900 in 2016-17). The Provost has made a number of statements emphasizing that UCL values the contribution of EU staff, as part of a diverse and talented workforce drawn from the UK and the rest of the world (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-and-europe/ucl-statements).

2. UCL is working with EU programmes available to apply for until the end of 2020. The UK government and the EU have now confirmed that UK researchers can apply for Horizon 2020 funding until the end of 2020, extending across the full range of grants from early career researchers to European Research Council (ERC) consolidator awards. UK universities should be allowed in principle to participate in the Erasmus scheme until 2020.

3. UCL is shaping the Brexit debate. UCL has campaigned for a Brexit deal that will protect staff, students and UK research. Our academics, particularly in UCL’s internationally renowned Institute of Education and UCL Public Policy, are informing the policy debate. The Centre for Global Higher Education is currently undertaking a major research project on the impact of Brexit on universities.

4. UCL and EU members – beyond Brexit. UCL is continuing to develop and invest in new partnerships with key European institutions (bilateral relations) and those around the globe, expanding the message of UCL as London’s Global University. Applications for UCL undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses from EU students remain buoyant (up 15% for undergraduate courses).

More detailed information on what UCL is doing to mitigate Brexit is provided in the leaflet available here: UCL Brexit Mitigation Actions

You can find support and information at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-and-europe/. Alternatively, if you have any concerns about Brexit in relation to Library Services, feel free to ask your line manager or the Library senior management team.

FAQs from UCL Immigration Clinics – February 2018 update

Benjamin G MMeunier15 March 2018

Brexit negotiations will probably return to the news agenda next week, as British and EU negotiators seek to make an agreement on the transition period at the European Council on 22-24 March. As part of our ongoing support for staff from the EU, UCL has recently updated the FAQs on the UCL Brexit Hub: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-and-europe/immigration-clinics/immigration-clinic-faqs

UCL held a series of Immigration Clinics with presentations and information provided by an immigration specialist from the law firm, Eversheds LLP. The FAQs are based on these Immigration Clinics. A video of one of the clinics (from 2016) is also available to view from the link above.

For further advice, you can refer to the EU referendum portal: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-and-europe/. If you require any support, do not hesitate to contact your line manager or myself. You may also access personal support from the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) on a confidential basis. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year for staff.

Brexit and Beyond book launch

AlisonFox30 January 2018

On the 29th January, UCL Press launched its new open access book Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe, edited by and Benjamin Martill, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Dahrendorf Forum, LSE and Uta Staiger, Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe) and Executive Director of the UCL European Institute, to a packed lecture theatre of around 180 people.

The event was organised in collaboration with the UCL European Institute (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/european-institute) and featured talks by some of the book’s contributors Chris Bickerton, Reader in Modern European Politics, Cambridge, Helen Drake, Professor of French and European Studies and Director of the Academy of Diplomacy and International Governance, Loughborough University London, Simon Hix, Harold Laski Professor of Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science and Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, and Director of the Centre for International Studies, at the University of Oxford. It was chaired by Quentin Peel of Chatham House, and introduced by the book’s editors. A news article about the event and the speakers was featured on UCL’s homepage – read it here.

Given the highly topical subject of the book and the high-profile authors, both the editors and UCL Press were keen to publish the book as quickly as possible, and we sped up the production process to just 3 months in order to capture the wave of interest and to be as up-to-date and relevant as possible. This has paid off, as an extract from the book was featured in The Telegraph on 22nd January.

Hopefully the event and the combined promotional activities of UCL Press, UCL Media Relations and the UCL European Institute will generate more media interest, but in the meantime we highly recommend Brexit and Beyond to anyone following the Brexit debate who is keen to hear the views of leading academic experts from around the world. Download it free here.

Brexit phase one deal viewed as positive news for universities

Benjamin G MMeunier14 December 2017

Ahead of the European Council tomorrow, I am writing with a brief summary on the agreement which was signed off in the early hours of Friday 8th December, when Prime Minister Theresa May and Jean-Claude Junker agreed a deal on key issues to enable discussions to move on to Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

The joint report published by the British Government and EU negotiators has been broadly welcomed by Universities UK and the Russell Group, as good news for universities on key issues, including:

  • progress on securing the residency rights of other EU citizens living in the UK
  • the UK’s continuation in existing EU programmes fostering collaboration between institutions, including Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, and
  • the European Investment Bank.

Universities UK welcome in particular “the fact that agreement has finally been reached which should ensure that the 46,000 other EU nationals working across the university sector can remain in the UK indefinitely. In addition, we are encouraged that today’s agreement offers further clarity that UK universities, students and researchers will continue to be able to participate in incredibly valuable programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ until their end dates.” Jo Johnson has confirmed that UK organisations and individuals will have continued full access to Horizon 2020 for the duration of the programme, until the end of 2020. It is also helpful that the cut-off point for EU nationals to be covered by the agreement has been agreed as the date the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, rather than earlier dates which have been mooted. People with settled status will be able to spend up to five consecutive years outside of the UK without losing this status.

One caveat on the deal, even after its expected ratification at the EU summit tomorrow is that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, meaning that some aspects of the phase 1 deal may be revisited. However, there is a widely-shared sense of hope from EU and UK parties that the key issues around citizens’ rights and continuing budgetary contributions will not be jeopardised by the next phase of negotiations.

Hopefully, colleagues affected by Brexit will feel that the greater sense of clarity emerging from the negotiations provides some comfort, after a protracted period of uncertainty. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister wrote a letter to EU citizens in the UK to reiterate that the rights of EU citizens in the UK and those of UK nationals living in EU countries were now secured, and provide reassurance for the future.

For further advice, UCL Library Services staff can refer to the EU referendum portal: www.ucl.ac.uk/eu-referendum. You may also access personal support from the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) on a confidential basis. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year for staff.

Higher Education Conference 2017: highlights

Benjamin G MMeunier17 October 2017

The annual Higher Education (HE) Conference took place last week at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in the shadow of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. big ben scaffolding (2)I attended to learn more about how HE policy is changing, as both Brexit and the focus on student fees in the recent General Election are continuing to impact on the future of universities. There were a range of speakers, from HEFCE, universities, suppliers and experts in education. Below are some highlights from 2 key speeches by the Chief Executive of HEFCE (1) and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham on new ways of thinking about the role of universities as educators (2), as well as a summary of a panel discussion on life for universities after Brexit (3). I will post separately on a learning spaces workshop led by a US furniture supplier, based on their research and experiences of fitting out learning spaces.

 

 

1. Keynote Address, Prof Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE

HEFCE is the body which currently funds and regulates universities and colleges in England; from next year it will be replaced by the Office for Students.

The Chief Executive of HEFCE set out 4 main themes:

  • Brexit
  • Industrial Strategy
  • Social Mobility
  • The Student Interest

 

  • Brexit concerns
    • Rights of EU staff and researchers
    • Relationships and partnerships with EU institutions
    • Funding

Prof Atkins indicated that whilst there are (many) challenges, there is also a significant “Brexit opportunity”, namely that the UK as a country, may be able to define an international strategy for research partnerships, which was not possible or practical eithin the EU. An early example perhaps was Jo Johnson, as Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, signing a £60m agreement with the US Department of Energy’s for the LBNF/DUNE neutrino programme in late September: http://news.fnal.gov/2017/09/uk-commits-88-million-lbnfdune-first-ever-umbrella-science-agreement-u-s/.

(Whether or not this agreement was helped by Brexit is open to question, but there is a sense that research institutions in the UK are thinking very seriously about which countries and institutions we wish to make or grow partnerships with.)

 

  • Industrial Strategy

Prof Atkins expected that the White Paper for the new Industrial Strategy was due around the time the Budget comes out on 22/11. The UK Government is determined that research, knowledge exchange and commercialisation undertaken by HE institutions (HEIs) should increasingly be linked and be seen to be linked to the priorities identified in the Industrial Strategy. She referred to a HEFCE-managed £100m boost provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for industrial priorities as well as an additional £100m capability fund to support university-to-university partnership for innovation.

Apprenticeships should be seen as part of this broad Industrial Strategy, with many apprenticeships being created in Engineering/STEM areas.

Advent of new T-level (Technical) qualifications coming alongside A-levels: Prof Atkins suggested that HEIs need to think about equivalence of qualifications, so that in due course a “climbing frame of opportunities” enables students to move from secondary education to Further Education into HE.

 

  • Social Mobility

Prof Atkins reiterated that social mobility is an absolute priority for the current government. She outlined how HEFCE has been supporting this, for instance through a collaborative outreach programme, working with 25 consortia with schools and local communities. This initiative is taking action at ward level, looking at school outcomes based on student results at 16.

The full impact of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and its use of student background data has yet to be determined. Prof Atkins speculated that this data being made public would shape how providers are perceived, in terms of the reality of widening participation. Future use of these data will become very important, helping to give much more sophisticated answers to “what works in social mobility?”.

Better information and better careers guidance for students is a priority for OfS.

HEFCE is looking to develop a toolkit for learning gain in curriculum (identifying metrics and effectiveness of curricula). HEFCE has agreed over £4m of investment in this area, expect OfS will continue with this investment. For more information, see HEFCE’s webpages dedicated to learning gain and current pilots.

Finally, Prof Atkins referred to the emphasis made by Nicola Dandrige, the incoming Chief Executive of the Office for Students (OfS) in a speech to the NUS on 09/10: “the OfS will be the champion of students and the taxpayer, not the friend of institutions.”

[See also this recent report from HEPI (August 2017): Where next for WP and fair access?, which was mentioned during the conference]

 

  • Student Interest

The traditional view of young 18-yo F/T student as the default model for universities is becoming increasingly obsolete.

Whilst the percentage of 18 year olds in education has been generally rising, there has been close to a 60% drop in Part-Time mature students; at the same time, in-house training is declining. Prof Atkins suggested that the sector needs to consider how the Apprenticeship levy can be used to support people in employment as part of CPD.

 

Opportunities and Challenges

  • Teaching excellence and student outcomes
  • REF 2021
  • Related initiatives

 

Teaching excellence and  Student outcomes

Sir Michael Barber, who will be Chair of the OfS, sees TEF as part of the “Golden Age” which he expects to introduce. For his full speech to Universities UK, see UUK’s website.

TEF structure retained for Year 3 TEF (specification published last week, on DfE website)

In order to gauge to progress of HEIs in preparing students for employment, LEO (Longitudinal Employment Outcomes Survey) will be used as a metric in the new TEF. ProfAtkins added that Subject-Level TEF is progressing: pilots are recruiting for panellists and assessors now. It will be rolled out across the UK in Year 5, i.e. 2019-20.

 

REF 2021

Prof Atkins described a number of decisions recently agreed by HEFCE:

  • Impact weighting goes up
  • Each area will include a member of the panel focused on multi-disciplinary research
  • Entries will be allowed to demonstrate how they support activity outside of the university
  • Impact in teaching will be allowed, including impact within the institution

HEFCE webinar and blog floated suggestion that portability of outputs could be resolved for 2021 by some double-counting as a transitional method, i.e. both originating and new institutions eligible to submit.

 

Joint Agendas: OfS and Research England responsibilities

  • Postgraduate
  • Knowledge exchange
  • Infrastructure funding
  • Health of disciplines
  • Sustaining the research base
  • Research degree awarding powers
  • Interface between TEF and REF

 

Related initiatives

  • Learning Gain Programme
  • Degree Apprenticeships
  • Institute of Technology
  • Expansion of medical places
  • Connecting Capability Fund
  • Research Partnership Investment Fund
  • Local Growth Academy programme (sending representatives to the next iteration of Academy programme, to address the need of HE institutions to work more closely with regions/sub-regions, NHS, etc.) to address precise regional needs in social mobility or industrial and skills needs

 

2. Should we be Educating just Brains or Whole People in HEIs, Sir Antony Seldon (VC, University of Buckingham)

New paper published on “The Positive University” [See also caveats on wonkhe: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/beware-of-the-positive-university/]. The University of Buckingham is regularly ranked as best in the UK for student satisfaction (in fact, it has been top or second every year since 2011 – see, for instance,

http://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/Studies/buckingham-university-named-best-in-the-uk-for-student-satisfaction-a7006276.html or https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/universities/top-5-uk-universities-for-student-satisfaction-2018/?entry=1)

Sir Antony, Vice-Chancellor at Buckingham, is also a contemporary historian, educationalist, commentator and political author. He makes 10 recommendations in his new book about transition between school and university. He described the 10 points in his talk, which was well presented, posed challenging questions to reflect on and was at times caustic towards leaders and managers in the HE sector, particularly around the need to speak out and act as a critical friend of government, rather than slavishly following policy. As noted above, some caveats have been raised against the moralistic aspects of positive psychology.

1) Need to ensure staff are contented, so that they can fulfil role in supporting mental health and pastoral care for students, as well as having fulfilling lives.

2) The VC of Buckingham questioned why there is a paradox currently, where British universities have never been more successful but public opinion on universities has never been so low

2) Universities are called “Higher Education Institutions”: too often, the focus on the “H” detracts from universities’ role as educators

3) What does “education” mean? to lead out / to draw out what is inside. HE has narrowed down intelligence to 2 of the 8 types of intelligence (see Howard Gardner, Harvard). Focus on linguistic and logical intelligence. Sir Antony argued that universities need to also develop emotional intelligence, social intelligence, cultural intelligence, kinaesthetic intelligence, moral intelligence, spiritual intelligence.

Not about teaching to the tests: schools that prioritise roundedness see their results increase. Those that prioritise results, see decline.

4) UK has extraordinary universities but need real leadership to help them grow and thrive. Universities are narrow. Universities are mainly driven for academics; academic subjects need to be re-booted to their radical roots.

5) Rebellion about universities; government is coming in and insisting on the TEF. In critiquing TEF, Sir Antony contended that it is mechanistic, not looking at learning, more focused on teaching, little learning from abroad, little learning from schools. Sir Antony recognised that there was a need to address education in universities, but does not believe TEF is the right approach.

6) VC pay case playing out over the summer was not persuasive for VC salaries; in contrast with other university staff pay

7) Subjects need to be re-oriented to radical roots, not shaped around academics’ career needs

8) All students should do volunteering

Everybody should be taught virtues: performance virtue (see Jubilee Centre for performance, Birmingham); Civic virtues, Moral. All students should be taught entrepreneurship. Everybody should be taught leadership.

9) The positive university. General mental health crisis response was to get more counsellors, but that is insufficient – need to also think about how to develop personal efficacy and resilience. Mindfulness is one way that we can learn.

10) The British HE sector is outstanding. Contribution of universities to local communities as well as to public perception of Britain abroad is boundless. Sector needs to lead more strongly, to be clearer on the benefits of our sector, since the public case is not being made. Positive psychology, about advocacy and making the case.

Antony Seldson panel

3. Maintaining International Collaboration after Brexit

Brenda McMahon (Global Head of Higher Education, British Council), Vivienne Stern (Director, Universities UK International), Conrad Bird (Director of the GREAT Britain Campaign, Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office)

 

Universities showing commitment to students in the aftermath of Brexit vote. GREAT Britain Campaign keen to support universities promoting to international students, e.g. via the embassy network.

 

UUK: “need to work harder”. Plenty of reasons for believing that we will retain access to some key partnerships, based on government rhetoric (frameworks for research, Erasmus +)

If cannot remain in EU frameworks, UUK are looking at how we can work with networks (scenario planning with EU counterparts)

The British Council is supporting and avocating for an “open Brexit” with movement permitted for staff and students

 

Conrad Bird: people who come into contact with a country (as a tourist, student, coming across culture in own country, etc.) are c. 30% more likely to invest in that country. There is a business case for attracting students into the UK.

UUK: there has been neglect in terms of developing commercial/innovation links with other countries. There will be more of this type of thinking. UUK have launched a blog campaign on “bringing innovation home” (600 words, write to Miranda.Thomas@international.ac.uk) describing benefits of universities’ international activity for local/UK firms.

 

How are Government addressing the risk of loss of EU research funding?

UUK: absolutely believe that belonging to framework is essential and irreplaceable. 7-year multi-lateral agreement provides stability for major international partnerships and also supports networking and benefits not just UK but also EU institutions.

UUK understand urgency; EU counterparts don’t really know whether UK partners can be included in bids. Theresa May said to the House of Commons on 09/10 that the UK wants to continue contributing to research programmes; commitment of intents. Conrad Bird (to the audience of university staff): “you’re doing very good work in this area and I think it’s being heard.”

 

Overall, the discussion illustrated that there is still a lot of uncertainty around Brexit (unsurprisingly) but the agencies and government departments involved are committed to ensuring that the HE sector in the UK is maintained as a world-leading area. There was no guarantee, nor indeed any real news, about Brexit at the conference, and I will update you as and when there are any developments. I referenced the UUK “bringing innovation home” blog above, in case it is of interest to colleagues (within the Library or UCL more widely).

UCL financial support for staff for immigration fees

Benjamin G MMeunier19 September 2017

Since my last post on Brexit earlier in the summer, I am writing with news on the launch of a loan scheme set up by UCL. Having listened to feedback from staff over the past few months, UCL has put in place a new scheme to provide financial support for eligible staff.

Following the decision that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, UCL is keen to support its employees to help secure a right to work or a legal right to permanently live and work in the United Kingdom.

For this purpose, UCL is offering an interest free Immigration Loan of up to a maximum amount of £10,000 for eligible employees to obtain immigration law advice and to make certain immigration applications for you and your Immediate Dependant.

Full details can be found here.

Brexit flag

Proposals for EU citizens’ post-Brexit rights

Benjamin G MMeunier29 June 2017

Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU have started and the government published a paper setting out their offer for EU citizens in the UK earlier this week. As has been widely reported, the EU considers that this forms a first step for negotiations, although it has called for more assurances and certainty. In today’s edition of the Times Higher Education, Michael Arthur, UCL President and Provost, said that the fate of EU staff was a “critical” issue for institutions:

“We actively encourage UK and EU politicians to make rapid progress on this issue, so that the current uncertainty facing EU citizens, including our staff and students, can be resolved,” he said.

eu-uk-flags

The full paper setting out the government’s proposals is available online:

Safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU

 

I appreciate that at this time, being a EU citizen in the UK feels somewhat unsettled and different to the pre-Brexit sense of “normality”, whereby living and working in the UK was virtually no different from any other EU country. We are still in a period of lingering uncertainty, which will dissipate as the negotiations progress. I take some encouragement from the fact that these negotiations on the status of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the rest of the EU are among the very first to be discussed. There seems to be an eagerness to resolve the issue promptly, as noted above, and the emphasis on “safeguarding the position” of EU citizens currently living in the UK. I am also heartened by the stance which UCL has taken, through the Provost in particular, to highlight the contribution which EU staff and students make to the university and to publicly emphasise that we are valued members of the UCL community.

At a national level, the Russell Group has made a number of statements on behalf of the many EU citizens who work in member institutions. Its June briefing (published before the Government proposals were made public) highlighted that “a strong base of talent from Europe and across the world enables research-intensive universities to remain globally competitive and is fundamental to excellent research, innovation and education. EU staff members make a significant contribution to our success, in particular to the excellence of the UK research base and in teaching key subjects vital to the UK economy, such as STEM and modern languages.

Currently, there are around 24,860 members of staff from other EU countries at our universities:  15% of the overall workforce, 23% of academics and 27% of staff on research-only contracts are EU nationals.”

The Russell Group added that whilst it welcomed the expressed intention by both the Government and the EU to strike an early agreement on the rights of EU citizens in the UK, it sought the following reassurances:

  • “Confirmation of the continued working rights for current EU staff (and their dependants) at UK universities and for those who take up positions before the UK has left the EU. We would want staff and their dependants to retain the same rights to stay and work without a visa that they have now (with no time limit placed on this)
  • In the longer term, we want to ensure our universities can continue to recruit the talented staff they need from all over the world without overly-burdensome visa requirements. “

 

UCL HR have advised that, at this stage, there is no change to the rights of EU citizens within the UK. As previously advised, if you have any queries or concerns, please contact me in Paul Ayris’ absence. You can also find information on UCL’s EU referendum webpage for staff and students (including an FAQ): http://www.ucl.ac.uk/eu-referendum 

UCL and Brexit, post-Article 50

Benjamin G MMeunier29 March 2017

As the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 today and the UK will start the process of leaving the EU, UCL is launching a series of materials and events to provide additional guidance and support to staff and students.

  • FAQs on the impact of triggering Article 50.
  • The Provost’s View (in a video filmed in the Flaxman Gallery, in the Main Library) that will appear in tomorrow’s TheWeek@UCL. A transcript is available here.

I would encourage you to sign up to the UCL and Brexit: a post-Article 50 forum which will be held on Thursday 4 May 2017 in B304 – LT1 Cruciform Building.

The Library Services SMT discussed Brexit at our meeting last week, to ensure that we provide effective support for all staff affected. We would like to reiterate that we are here to help, so please get in touch with any concerns. UCL’s Brexit website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/eu-referendum and email address eustaffqueries@ucl.ac.uk are available for all staff looking for information. Where there are questions which the website does not answer, they should be sent to Paul Ayris as Head of Department who can pass them on to the relevant Officer in UCL.

UCL Brexit Hub Launch

Benjamin G MMeunier9 March 2017

The European Institute is pleased to announce the launch of the UCL Brexit Hub, a single portal for research, information and analysis on ‘Brexit’ from across UCL. The site draws together contributions from the university’s diverse array of departments and institutes to offer a comprehensive understanding of Brexit.

European ParliamentThe Brexit Hub features articles, research papers, reports, blogs and media appearances on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union by a wide range of UCL academics. The repository is divided into core themes, including UK and European politics, science & research, the economy, and migration.

 


The Brexit Hub is hosted on the UCL European Institute’s new website and is updated frequently by members of the Institute’s staff.


For further information or to contribute content, please contact european.institute@ucl.ac.uk.