The University of Kent and the Referendum

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Statement by Chair of Council


The University of Kent is the United Kingdom’s European university. Roughly 14% of new students, 18% of postgraduate students and 22% of our academic staff come from continental Europe. About 20% of Kent’s research income is won from European Union funds. We have academic centres in four European capitals. Our geographical situation and partnerships with other European universities serve to reinforce our European identity.

In its discussions of the forthcoming EU referendum, The University Council, the governing body of the University, has endorsed the view of Universities UK that continued membership of the EU is in the interests of the UK’s higher educational sector.   Given that a decision to leave the European Union would damage the educational objectives of the University of Kent, as the Council noted in our last meeting, our view is that the University, as a corporate entity, should support the Remain side of the argument in the referendum.

The Council is, however, also strongly committed to free speech and open debate. It recognises that there is a wide spectrum of opinion on the UK’s membership of the European Union and it believes that the university should provide opportunities for all views to be expressed and discussed.

The Council hopes that all members of the University who are eligible to vote – staff, students and alumni – will exercise that right on June 23rd, whatever their individual view.

Sir David Warren, Chair of Council

May 16th 2016

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