Happening on Campus

UoN International and EU staff talk life after Brexit

Impact talked to two non-UK teaching staff from the University of Nottingham (UoN) about how they have been affected by Brexit.

Many educational experts claimed that the referendum result to leave the European Union would leave a devastating impact on EU teaching staff at British universities. It has now, however, been over a year since the decision to leave the EU was announced.

Considering the amount of time that has passed, Impact decided to get into contact with an EU professor from the UoN, who shared her opinions on the effect that Brexit has had on her teaching career.

The professor, who has been working as a teaching staff at the UoN for over ten years, admits that Brexit did not only make her worried but also caused anxiety and trepidation to other European colleagues.

“I expect things will become far more difficult for me after Brexit with regard to right of residence, right to vote in local elections, health insurance issues (NHS insurance is at the moment accepted in other EU countries) and pension issues.”

“I expect things will become far more difficult for me after Brexit”

The University did release a public statement reassuring EU and international students and staff that “whatever language they speak” they are “at the heart of what it means to be a truly global university.” They have also sent necessary emails and have set up workshops for staff. Despite this, there still seems to be uncertainty according to the professor.

“We received conflicting information [from the University]. The advice to apply for ‘right of residence’ has been seen by many with great suspicion.” She does admit, however, that the University can’t provide them with significant reassurance because they too “are as much in the dark as is the clueless government.”

In addition, EU teaching staff’s confidence and spirits at the UoN and other educational institutions have been tested.

“Brexit has definitely damaged staff morale. There is also increasing hostility against people who speak with a foreign accent noticeable in everyday life, though not necessarily on campus.”

“they too are as much in the dark as is the clueless government”

When asked if she feels like the University offers enough certainty and openness that EU/International staff deserve, the professor told Impact: “definitely not in Modern Languages Departments.

“The demolition of Modern Language Departments throughout the UK, and the damage that has done to Modern Languages in Nottingham in the last year goes hand in hand with [the] Brexit strategy that turns its back on other European countries and their citizens.

“[European citizens] have been playing a vital role in contributing to the British economy and culture”, but now “many colleagues from EU countries are considering leaving the UK.”

When talking to an International teaching staff from the UoN, the professor told Impact that since the individual is international, the impact so far hasn’t been that significant.

“many colleagues from EU countries are considering leaving the UK”

A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said: “Our international community of students and staff is one of our greatest strengths, and we want people from the UK, other countries in Europe and beyond to continue to study, teach, research and work here.

“The UK Government has published a policy paper on Safeguarding the Position of EU Citizens Living in the UK and UK Nationals Living in the EU which outlines their approach to the status and rights of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU post-Brexit. The proposal is that EU citizens will be able to apply for “settled status” after five years continuous residence in the UK.

“There are still a number of questions around the terms of the new settled status. The University will be seeking clarification on these points in order to assess the impact that these new arrangements will have on our current and future staff and students, with a view to holding information and advice sessions as soon as possible. In the meantime, anyone with queries or concerns can contact the International Employment Services team.”

Junzhi Yan

Featured image courtesy of ‘Matt Buck’ via Flickr. License here.
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