Oxford bosses to UK: Protect EU citizen rights or academics will flee

Oxford bosses to UK: Protect EU citizen rights or academics will flee
A view of Merton College of University of Oxford. The heads of 35 Oxford colleges says some of their EU colleagues are planning to leave. Source: Shutterstock

Heads at University of Oxford urge Britain to guarantee the rights of European Union (EU) citizens after Brexit or Britain’s oldest university could suffer enormous damage as academics leave.

British Parliament is to vote on whether to pre-commit to protecting the rights of EU citizens ahead of its decision to trigger negotiations to leave the EU.

The government says it hopes to come to an agreement with the EU over the rights of citizens once negotiations start.

The heads of 35 Oxford colleges said EU colleagues were unsettled by the government’s refusal to guarantee their status and that some were planning to leave.

“If they lost their right to work here, our university would suffer enormous damage which, given our role in research, would have reverberations across the UK,” the academics said in a letter to the Times newspaper.


The University of Oxford, whose alumni include Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and Finance Minister Philip Hammond, was founded over 900 years ago.

Last month, it denied a report it was considering opening a campus in France in response to Brexit.

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