A message to students and staff from the Vice-Chancellor following the triggering of Article 50


VC LETTER - main

Dear colleagues and students

The Prime Minister has today written to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This initiates the formal start of the two-year negotiation for the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. 

As you will know, this is a day which I personally hoped would never transpire, but I am committed to ensuring that DMU prospers in a post-Brexit world. 

I also want us to act as a bulwark against intolerance, division and, as Dr Rowan Williams said when he visited DMU a couple of weeks ago, the belief that ‘all our country’s problems will be solved by asking the strangers in the room to leave.’

As a direct response to the Prime Minister’s letter, I am today in Warsaw holding a #LoveInternational event with current and prospective Polish students to underline our implacable determination to engage with our friends in the European Union going forward, as well as conducting a number of interviews with the Polish media and meeting some of our Polish alumni.

I am also announcing that DMU will be opening an office in Frankfurt this summer in collaboration with Oxford International Education Group to develop new research and teaching partnerships in Europe, facilitate innovative @DMUglobal visits and act as a hub for recruiting European students to DMU.

I know that many of you continue to have anxieties and uncertainties, but I want you to remember that you belong to a community that is eager to reassure and support you practically and I want to reissue my invitation for you to write to me or come and see me if you have any concerns about the Article 50 process and its consequences. I want us all to feel that we are not powerless in the face of these events, but that we each have the opportunity to help bring about positive change. As I make clear in an article published this morning in Nature: “You can make a difference. You can engage. You mustn’t feel impotent.”

I have received a very large number of messages since last June and I will continue to reply to every one. We will also hold another vigil, if we collectively deem it to be necessary.

Much is still unknown about Brexit, but Universities UK have issued this extremely helpful FAQ about how Article 50 may affect the Higher Education Sector in the immediate future and you can access it here.

Remember, we really do now need to be the change that we want to see in the world.

With my very best wishes




Posted on Wednesday 29th March 2017

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