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UCL hosts UK government Education Select Committee

27 January 2017

UCL hosted the UK government Education Select Committee in January 2017

UCL informed the debate on the impact that the UK leaving the European Union (EU) may have on higher education, at the Government Select Committee it hosted on 25 January.

The House of Commons Education Select Committee held an oral evidence session at UCL as part of their ongoing inquiry The Impact of Exiting the European Union on Higher Education.

UCL President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur served as a witness during the session, alongside senior representatives from the NUS, UUK, London Economics, UCU, the British Council and the Erasmus Student Network.

UCL was selected to host the session following our written evidence submission to the inquiry, which distilled a large amount information from across the Office of the Vice-Provost Research, the Student Mobility team and Global Engagement Office, as well as over 200 student responses.

Creativity fuelled by diversity

UCL President and Provost Prof Michael Arthur gives evidence at the UK government Education Select Committee in January 2017

Addressing the panel, Professor Arthur described UCL’s continuing commitment and activity to mitigate any impact on attracting talent from around the world, as well as how the university is redoubling its efforts to nurture international partnerships and offer student mobility opportunities in EU countries and beyond.

He described how much UCL values its international staff and students, stating: “They add a huge diversity of cultures, which is very positive for our home students to interact with. I’m a very firm believer that the creativity of a university is absolutely fuelled by that diversity of cultures and talent. And if you look at the way people operate when they are solving a problem together…then you find a huge amount of creativity from that environment. This is an incredibly important part of what this university is all about.”

The Committee's inquiry was launched in September 2016 and is exploring the possible opportunities and challenges posed to global collaboration, including through science and research programmes and Erasmus+. The panel used the session to ask witnesses what the sector must do to ensure higher education gets a strong voice in negotiations. 

Prior to the event, Committee Chair Neil Carmichael MP said: "We are examining the risks and opportunities for higher education post-Brexit and considering how we ensure our universities continue to compete internationally and bring cultural and economic benefits to Britain. It is therefore fitting that we will be holding the second public session of our inquiry at a world-class university such as UCL, where we are particularly looking forward to hearing from representatives of students."

House of Commons Education Select Committee oral evidence session at UCL, January 2017