Brexit focus for Brussels alumni forum

Senior staff and alumni have begun a dialogue on the implications of Brexit, at an event in Brussels.

The event attracted former students from across Europe, who also made their views known.

Presentations outlined what the UK leaving the European Union could mean for the University and the wider higher education sector.

The event was led by Edinburgh's Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea.

Delegates heard that, despite the current challenges, Edinburgh would  remain fundamentally European and international in its outlook.


In this short video, alumni and University staff discuss why debating the European question is so important.


Facing the challenge of Brexit means we have to engage closely with partners across Europe. The two priorities are to maintain the mobility of European students and staff and to protect our European-funded research partnerships.

Professor Sir Timothy O’SheaPrincipal, the University of Edinburgh

Strong European links

Professor O'Shea stressed that Europe had been vitally important to the University since its earliest days.

Having taken inspiration from universities in Paris and Leiden, Edinburgh’s foundation was heavily influenced by models from mainland Europe, he said.

Now, as the UK university with the largest number of ERASMUS students - and with 25 per cent of its academic staff from the EU - Edinburgh’s engagement with Europe is more important than ever, he added.

Edinburgh is an active member of several international organisations, including Universitas 21, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and the Coimbra Group.


The University and Europe

Edinburgh Global

University European Alumni