Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes to discuss impact of Brexit on Higher Education

Thursday, 22 December 2016

EU flag image

Oxford Brookes University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt will be on the witness panel for the Education Committee’s first evidence session for the inquiry into Brexit and Higher Education.

The Education Committee are holding a public hearing at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, on Wednesday 11 January 2017.

The session will examine the strategies for universities in handling the impact of Brexit, the overall risks and opportunities of exit from the EU, and explore higher education’s top priorities for the negotiation.

On the first witness panel along with Professor Alistair Fitt, will be Professor Catherine Barnard, Professor of EU Law, University of Cambridge, Professor Alastair Buchan, the University of Oxford’s new Head of Brexit Strategy and Professor John Latham, Vice-Chancellor, Coventry University.

Professor Alistair Fitt said: “The outcome of the EU Referendum was a surprise to many earlier this year and still leaves many questions as yet unanswered, not just for our staff and student body but the Higher Education sector as a whole. At Oxford Brookes we remain committed to being an international institution, and value the diversity of our staff and students.  

“We are continuing to work with national bodies to seek clarity on a number of areas, as such I look forward to joining colleagues from other universities at the Education Committee’s evidence session to examine these areas in greater detail.”

We are continuing to work with national bodies to seek clarity on a number of areas, as such I look forward to joining colleagues from other universities at the Education Committee's evidence session to examine these areas in greater detail.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt, Oxford Brookes University

The second panel, which will focus on freedom of movement of staff and impact on teaching, research and reputation, features Professor Stephanie Haywood, President of the Engineering Professors’ Council, Dr Anne Corbett, Associate of LSE Enterprise, and Professor Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History, University of Oxford.  

Margaret Wintermantel, Head of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), who suggested in a Guardian article that 15 per cent of EU staff could leave as a result of the Brexit referendum, will also appear on the panel. 

The evidence session will take place in the Harold Lee Room in Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Committee said: “In our inquiry, we want to examine the risks and opportunities for higher education post-Brexit and consider what the Government's priorities should be for the sector going into the negotiations with the EU. We are delighted to hold this session at Oxford University and we hope students and university staff will be interested in attending this evidence hearing. 

“In our inquiry, we are determined to hear from a diverse range of voices, from university leaders, students, academics and others, to help ensure our nation’s universities can continue to compete on the international stage as a provider of world-class higher education.” 

The Committee’s inquiry was launched in September and aims to explore the implications of UK's exit from the European Union for EU students and staff who want to come to England's universities to study and work and will consider what protections should be given to those who are already here. Similarly, it will look at the ramifications for Britons who want to work and study at higher education institutions in the EU. 

They also aim to examine the effect of Brexit on the reputation of England's universities and ask how they can remain competitive. The future of the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and the impact on research will also be examined as part of the inquiry. 

Recently an inquiry event was held with students and academics at London South Bank University and the written evidence received as part of its inquiry was published. The full list of 190 written submissions is available on the Education Committee website.