Universiteit Leiden

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Response to Brexit

We have followed the UK referendum of Thursday, 23 June 2016, with great interest and indeed concern.

Whatever one may think of the outcome, it appears to be the case that the UK will in time leave the EU. The consequences for academic co-operation may be signi­ficant, although the exact impact will depend on the form that the exit takes.

As far as Leiden University is concerned, we will do our best to preserve the links that we have developed over time with our British partner universities. We strongly believe that, especially in turbulent times when nations are drifting apart, academics should continue to co-operate and engage in dialogue – both at individual and institutional level. Likewise, we believe that students must be encouraged to study abroad, so as to develop an understanding of other academic climates and to learn to appreciate different cultures.

In addition to the various bilateral agreements between the Netherlands and the UK, the Erasmus+ programme still applies, at least for the time being. We look forward to receiving students from the UK, and we do not doubt that British universities will continue to be a popular destination for our students. If the time comes that we are forced to halt the Erasmus+ programme, we will be happy to continue working together and exploring alternative ways to facilitate the exchange of students and staff.

For the time being, we at Leiden University wish our British partners the very best in the coming period, which is bound to be full of uncertainties.

On behalf of the academic community at Leiden University,

Carel Stolker, Rector Magnificus and President

Rick Lawson, on behalf of the Council of Deans


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