University of Portsmouth staff feel '˜unwelcome' after Brexit

FEARS over the repercussions of Brexit have prompted university bosses to hold a major event to reassure its hundreds of foreign lecturers.

Wednesday, 2nd November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:08 pm
The University of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth is launching the support session later this month.

It comes amid concern that hundreds of EU staff at the institution have been made to feel unwelcome after June’s referendum – with some even considering quitting their jobs.

Now the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith, has said he will do everything in his power to support his European colleagues.

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Speaking to The News, he said: ‘It’s our responsibilty to these staff that they remain a valuable and critical part of the success of the university.

‘Many people are emotional and feel uncertain and possibly unwelcome and that leads to them thinking possibly about where their future lies.’

More than 300 of the university’s staff – some 12 per cent – are foreign, the vice-chancellor said.

And the university also caters for hundreds of foreign students.

The Brexit event takes place on November 16 and is for university staff only.

Prof Galbraith added: ‘It would be a great tragedy if they felt unwelcome and left the university.

‘They live in Portsmouth and work at the university and contribute to the city.’

The news of the meeting comes as famed astronaut and former university student Major Tim Peake is due to visit the city today.

Maj Peake, who studied flight dynamics and evaluation at the university, will be interviewed on stage by a cosmologist and will also receive a honorary degree.