CSM and Brexit

The following is the text of a message sent by CSM Head of College to all staff on 24 June 2016 following the result of the referendum.

I am writing this note in the street, looking at the list of names of students from the brilliant MA Material Futures cohort. From a rough guess, well over 50% of them are European, and it breaks my heart that what happened today may restrict such a diverse and wonderful intake in the future, on this and all courses in CSM. Most of you will know my personal position on the referendum, and I make no apologies in sharing my shock and dismay at the result. Some of you may disagree with me on this, and I respect your right to differ.

As Head of Central Saint Martins, however, I wanted to say that I and the senior management team will be vocal in our support of our EU students and staff. Although some aspects of European project may be seen to be flawed, I think it is very hard to argue against the cultural and educational benefits of exchange and collaboration within Europe and beyond. We will therefore be making the strong case for the continuation of Erasmus, for unfettered entrance for European students to the UK, and for the continued engagement of UK universities in European research and teaching networks. 

Emails have gone out to all existing EU students and those holding offers, confirming that UAL will not be charging more than the home fee. Importantly, the email also celebrates the contribution that EU students make to the university and colleges. Nigel’s email to all staff also confirms that there are no contractual implications in terms of working visas for existing EU staff for at least two years, probably longer. Once the exit is negotiated, there will be clarity on this, but for what it is worth the Leave campaign confirmed that existing EU workers would not be affected.  

If any of you have concerns or want to talk to me, please do. Once the shock is over, we must follow the example of our students to make the argument for tolerance, inclusion and exchange – and the role that the brilliant energy and intelligence of CSM might play in the release of such values.

In solidarity,

Professor Jeremy Till
Head of Central Saint Martins
Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London