The Vice-Chancellor of the University has issued a statement to Oxford students and staff in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union today.
Professor Richardson took care to stress first that students dependent on EU movement rules to study at Oxford would not be affected in the short term, saying “I read the Prime Minister’s comments this morning as indicating that it will be for his successor to invoke Article 50, so I think we can anticipate a lengthy period before we have clarity on the precise implications of yesterday’s decision.” She also promised to “work with others in the sector to lobby government to ensure our interests are protected.”
Professor Richardson began her statement with “While this was not the result that many of us wished for”, and the official University position had been pro-EU, and another official statement noted that “EU membership has also enabled Oxford’s participation in pan-European research collaborations, and has guaranteed the opportunity to access EU research funding (of some £66m in 2014/15)”
The statement gave the impression that the Vice-Chancellor, like the rest of the country and the world, had been surprised by the result, saying “I think we will always remember where we were when we received news of the results of yesterday’s referendum.”
In spite of this, the Vice-chancellor ended on a more philosophical note, concluding that “our university has survived greater disruptions than this over the centuries. I am confident that our wonderful cosmopolitan community of scholars and students united in our commitment to education and research will continue to thrive and will emerge even stronger from these extraordinary times.”