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European academics

(8 Posts)
forkhandles4candles Wed 29-Jun-16 08:50:47

I can't quite believe I have recently sat through a talk from our VC about how the Uni will do all in its power to support our European staff members, of which we have very many, in teaching, research and admin, as circumstances change and they (we) may be compelled to apply for visas to work, or are even barred from working here. I mean...what the heck? How did it get to this? We are all shell shocked and terrified.

esornep Wed 29-Jun-16 17:46:48

The VCs have been told by BIS that they cannot make any guarantees for what happens two years after Article 50 is activated. I think this is why all talks/statements/meetings are being very careful not to promise anything, but to say that they personally want to support non-British EU staff members.

Visas for non-EU nationals (along with NHS contributions) cost about £2000 or so. So if visas are needed for non-British EU staff this would correspond to significant pay cuts (leaving aside the humiliation, bureaucracy and general feeling of being unwelcome), on top of the forthcoming pay freezes/cuts due to the economy crashing.

About 30% of my own department's permanent staff are non-British EU. Pretty shell shocked also. Universities are going to haemorrhage their best staff to other more welcoming countries.

FoggyBottom Thu 30-Jun-16 08:45:55

We are all shell shocked and terrified

Yes. Spent the first 40 minutes of a Faculty management meeting on this. And then several meetings with worried colleagues. And we've just made some appointments - all are EU citizens, but not British citizens.

Which is wonderful.

I'm in denial. I don't want to think about it, and am indulging in magical thinking that someone will come along & rescue us all.

geekaMaxima Thu 30-Jun-16 18:06:28

Universities are going to haemorrhage their best staff to other more welcoming countries.

Yep. I'm already looking to leave. confused

FoggyBottom Thu 30-Jun-16 20:50:46

I wish I had somewhere to go. But I'd miss the actual country too much.

Still gutted, and disbelieving in denial. I don't want to roll up my sleeves and get on with it. This is not my Britain. It's a nightmare.

esornep Fri 01-Jul-16 12:35:52

Listening to the Tory party candidates, they really don't get how their proposed policies are going to turn away highly skilled workers. If you are a highly skilled worker from elsewhere in the EU and you have choices:

1. Go to Germany or France where they say "welcome" and you go through some trivial bureaucracy for national insurance numbers etc.

2. Go to Britain where they say "prove you are worthy with a points system" and then ask you to pay several thousand for English tests/medical tests/visa/NHS surcharge (on top of the standard taxation on your salary when you arrive).

Why would you choose option 2, particularly given all the reports of racial abuse? (Leaving aside the worsening working conditions, reduced research funds available etc, that academics are almost certain to face.)

My non-EU group members have to go through getting tier 1/2 visas. Even for tier 1 "exceptional talent" visas, the amount of documentation required and the rapidly increasing costs (plus general feeling of not being very welcome) already put people off.

And then with immigration drastically cut we will face a demographic time bomb - an ageing population with nobody to work to support them. The latter is one of the reasons why Merkel wanted to welcome refugees to Germany - the UK's demographics are actually much healthier than most of the rest of the Europe because of immigration.

FoggyBottom Fri 01-Jul-16 15:51:45

Ahhh, but "no-one listens to experts" We're just snobs who know nothing and think that because we are academics we are better than everyone else ...

Just look at the reactions to academics on MN sometimes.

esornep Fri 01-Jul-16 17:06:44

But it's not just academics who say this (indeed politicians ignore us).

Many businesses need highly skilled staff from elsewhere in the EU, and so does the NHS (is it 15% of NHS staff who are non-British EU?). It's neither realistic nor desirable to cut immigration by such people entirely, or to make it so difficult that people go elsewhere in Europe instead.

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