Dear staff and students,

In the two weeks since the EU referendum our community has come together to support one another. Our immediate first step following the result was to make sure that we provide help and reassurance to our colleagues in a period of uncertainty. We greatly appreciate the letters of support and encouragement we have received back from many of you.

This uncertainty will probably last for some time and we will not know the details of any changes in government policy, despite lobbying by ourselves and other universities. We are prepared for this. We will continue to provide practical support to our community, for instance around residency status, and also keep publicly communicating our values and beliefs. These values have not changed and are widely shared by people across the UK irrespective of how they voted. We continue to be a global European university that values collaboration across borders, and welcomes students and staff from all countries.

At Council today we discussed the implications of the referendum for the College. We talked about how we can best support you, now and in the future. We also discussed how the College can contribute to the debate as the UK redefines its relationship with Europe. We will continue to emphasise to government the value and importance of UK higher education and research as it negotiates with the EU. It is essential that we all make this case, by fostering our existing collaborations, building new ones, and continuing to apply for funding from European sources such as Horizon 2020. We will be unrelenting in voicing our views publicly. We will actively present our case that great universities need to be part of an open, highly connected world in order to flourish.

On this note, we welcome the speech given last week by the Minister for Universities and Science and this week’s letter from the Mayor of London to the capital’s universities, laying out his commitment to London’s higher education sector and recognising the value we place on our European staff and students. You can read Jo Johnson’s speech and Sadiq Khan’s letter here.

Some people will use moments like this to voice views that are unacceptable in any modern civilized society. We are saddened to see the rise in reports of racist incidents across the UK in the last few weeks. Such incidents are an affront to our values and totally unacceptable. We always have taken a forceful and proactive action against any racist or hateful incidents in our community, and continue to do so. Since the referendum we have had two incidents reported on Imperial campuses. While neither was caused by members of the College, we have taken strong action to make it clear that we will not tolerate any form of racism amongst our community members or on our property.

If you experience or witness a racist incident on a College campus, please report it to Nigel Ward, Crime and Investigations Manager in Security Services. All reports will be investigated thoroughly, and we will work to support those who have been affected. Our diverse community of students, staff and alumni enriches this great university; we value that diversity and will do all in our power to ensure that it thrives.

Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to Imperial.

Best wishes,

Professor Alice P. Gast

Professor James Stirling CBE FRS

Access the dedicated webpages on the College’s response to the EU referendum outcome, which will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.