Principal-elect Sally Mapstone seeks to reassure staff and students over Leave vote in EU referendum

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Photo: University of St Andrews/ John Cairns
Photo: University of St Andrews/ John Cairns
Photo: University of St Andrews/ John Cairns

Principal-Elect Professor Sally Mapstone has sought to “reassure” staff and students over the result of the EU referendum.

In an email to students, Professor Mapstone said, “We have woken this morning to a referendum result which will bring fundamental change to the political landscape of Scotland, the United Kingdom and Europe. I’m writing to you to start the process of putting this into context for the University of St Andrews.

“This will inevitably be a disruptive time, but in such times the values of quality, community and enquiry for which this university stands and which bind us together are more important than ever.

“St Andrews is outward looking, international and European, and we will go on being so. We have flourished over six centuries because of a belief in the enduring value of what we do, and our connectedness with the world.

Professor Mapstone also said that while scholarship “transcends” state borders, she accepted that “a Brexit poses challenges” for universities, specifically with regards to funding the mobility of staff and students. However she added that the University would develop a “considered strategy in response.”

Going on she said, “We will involve the whole university community in shaping that strategy.

“Today, I particularly want to reassure our current students, undergraduate and postgraduate, and offer holders, that the referendum result will not affect fees or support. Where we have made an arrangement with you, we will honour it.

Professor Mapstone went on to say that issues related to the vote to leave the European Union will be among her top priorities when she takes up office in September and that she is already working with colleagues in St Andrews to plan for the “next chapter in our university’s history.”

Her statement comes after Rector Catherine Stihler MEP expressed her sadness at the referendum result, telling The Saint, “This is not the result that I wanted. It is such a sad day for the UK. I want to thank all the students and staff who went out and campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU.

“They all worked so hard and I would like their efforts to be recognised. We don’t know what will happen moving forward but for the higher education sector in the UK this is a deeply unsettling time.”

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