It s my pleasure to invite staff, students and friends of the University of Bedfordshire to attend the Vice Chancellor's Annual Lecture.
What should universities be in post-Brexit Britain?
In June 2016 the English public voted by 53% to 47% in favour of leaving the European Union. That vote exposed major fault lines in British society, between the four nations of the UK, between old and young, between those who have benefited from opportunities created by closer union between countries and those who have felt shut out. The ease with which ‘experts’ were dismissed in the debate was concerning for all who believe in the social and civic value of universities.
The outcome of the vote will reverberate through our politics, economy and society for years to come, and will have an immediate impact on universities’ ability to recruit non-UK students from both EU and non-EU countries, retain EU staff and access EU research funding. But, arguably more importantly, the vote has placed a real and significant burden on universities to take a more substantial role in civil society, rebuilding public trust through active engagement and offering accessible pathways to expertise that the public views as relevant and valuable.
In my lecture I will set out what I believe should be the priorities for universities in the wake of the Brexit vote, to safeguard, not only the interests of our world-leading higher education sector but in the interests of British society as a whole.
The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A, and close with a drinks and canapé reception in Café Neo.
I look forward to seeing you there.
17.30 Tea and coffee in Café Neo
18.00 Introduction by Alan Cook, Chair of the Board of Governors
18.50 Panel Q&A
19.20 Drinks and canapés reception
Please direct any queries about the event to firstname.lastname@example.org