EU referendum: University of Oxford backs membership of union

University issues public statement of support for UK being part of the EU, citing research and mobility benefits

April 22, 2016
Radcliffe Camera and All Souls College in Oxford
Source: iStock
Radcliffe Camera and All Souls College in Oxford

The University of Oxford has added its voice to calls to remain in the European Union, stressing the benefits of cross-continental mobility for staff and students.

UK universities as a whole have been vocally against leaving the EU, but the Oxford statement is perhaps the highest profile intervention by a single institution.

“Membership of the EU currently benefits the university in a number of ways.

“The mobility that EU membership affords, which enables staff and students from across the EU to come to Oxford, and Oxford staff and students to work and study in Europe, is central to our strategic plan,” it says in a statement released today.

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“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),” it continues.

“While recognising that individual members of the University will hold different views on the referendum, and while encouraging open debate on the issue, the university’s council wishes to affirm the value that the UK’s membership of the EU provides to the university.”

The vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson, had already come out in favour of remaining in the EU alongside 102 other university leaders in a letter to The Sunday Times in February.

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, has also come out publicly against a Brexit, saying in March: “I cannot identify a single persuasive reason to recommend leaving Europe.”

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