London Mayor Sadiq Khan says ministers must ensure the capital’s “world-leading” universities remain accessible to European students following the public’s decision to quit the European Union.
Following the Brexit vote on June 23rd, ministers and central government officials are drawing up plans for the nation’s future relationship with the EU and, according to reports, debating whether to retain current freedom of movement rules in return for access to the single market.
Some campaigners and educational leaders are concerned that changes in visa and immigration rules could make it harder for European students to come to the UK and study.
On Wednesday Mr Khan met with representatives from some of the capital’s most prestigious higher education institutions, including King’s College, the LSE, University College London and Imperial College, and promised to lobby ministers to consider their needs during the Brexit talks.
Officials say the Mayor also used the meeting to stress his appreciation of the contribution London’s higher education sector makes to the UK’s economy and reputation.
Following the meeting, Mr Khan said: “London is the higher education capital of the world, with more leading universities, and international students than any other city and I want to make sure it stays that way.
“EU students, staff and research partnerships are a key part of this.
“In addition, people who come from abroad to study in London leave as ambassadors for our city, spreading the message across the globe that we are a fantastic place to live, work and visit.
“I’m saying loud and clear to the world that London is open as the best place to study, do business and innovate and a city where all Londoners can take advantage of these opportunities.”