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Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities and Coimbra Group on Brexit decision


Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities

In light of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the members of the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities affirm the importance of the free movement of students and researchers across Europe. Our current societal, cultural, scientific and economic challenges can only be met through collaboration in the creation and application of knowledge. The Guild and its members stand for the free flow of ideas determined by academic freedom which must not be compromised by regulations or boundaries. And we stand for principles of inclusiveness, cultural respect and freedom of debate within our campuses and our communities. We appeal to the UK government, the European Parliament, the Commission and the European Council to ensure that any political settlement supports the free movement of ideas, open boundaries for staff and students within Europe, and uninhibited exchange of knowledge between university researchers and public and private partners wherever they may be.

This statement is endorsed by the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, and the Presidents of its members: the University of Bologna, the University of Glasgow, the University of Göttingen, the University of Groningen, Jagiellonian University, the University of Oslo, the University of Tübingen, Uppsala University, and the University of Warwick.

Coimbra Group

In the light of the result of the UK referendum on membership of the European Union, the Coimbra Group, as a pan-European university network with members both within and beyond the current borders of the EU, wishes to express its continuing commitment to strengthening European and international cooperation in higher education and research and its concern that the decision may have a negative impact for that goal.

The result of the referendum opens a period of great uncertainty and will undoubtedly have an impact on universities in the UK. At this difficult time, the Coimbra Group would like to underline its full support for our UK members and colleagues at the Universities of Bristol, Edinburgh and, since our General Assembly earlier this month, Durham. We shall work closely with them and other UK partners to mitigate any possible negative impact of the decision, in the spirit of the pursuit of scholarly collaboration, international and global engagement, in the forging of well-educated, critically-aware global citizens for the future - academic values which transcend national and supranational borders.

Contact address:
Dr. Esther von Richthofen (Ms.)
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Göttingen International - The International Office
Phone +49 (551) 39-21322