Wittenborg Moves to Limit Possible Damage of Brexit
Discussions with UK Partner, University of Brighton, Underway
After the British parliament voted against the Brexit deal on Tuesday evening, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences (WUAS) has indicated that it will meet as soon as possible with the University of Brighton in the UK to discuss its ongoing partnership. However, it was quick to reassure students and staff that in the short-term there will be minimal disruptions.
Brexit has direct implications on Wittenborg as it offers a number of jointly taught degrees (Masters and Bachelors) with the University of Brighton.
Over 100 teaching days a year at WUAS are provided by lecturers from the UK, mainly from the Brighton. Although technically employed by the University of Brighton, these staff members are working for Wittenborg in the Netherlands. This is possible under current EU-regulations which allows for the freedom of movement of persons. After Brexit - with no transition deal - this will no longer be possible unless UK staff have work permits.
“In the short term, WUAS sees only slight disruption as most days taught by Brighton staff in 2018 - 2019 will have been completed by 29th March – the day the UK leaves the EU,” said Wittenborg’s chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, in a statement. “In case of a no-deal Brexit, WUAS will make arrangements with Brighton for the teaching of these days by staff who don’t need a work permit.
“However, it’s important to understand that Brexit has no influence or implications for the quality of education offered by the University of Brighton, including the joint degrees offered with WUAS. Also, UK accredited university degrees and UK masters and bachelors titles will remain recognised in the Netherlands and worldwide after Brexit.
“In the longer term, especially for the academic year 2019-2020, WUAS and Brighton will discuss solutions that allow currently delivered programmes to continue, possibly with teaching staff who hold EU nationality. WUAS will also seek clarification from the Dutch government in relation to plans for work permits for UK citizens in the Netherlands.”
Tuesday evening’s rejection of the transition period deal means that with only 72 days to the day the UK leaves the European Union, there is a real possibility that the UK will leave without any agreements in place, a so-called “hard-brexit”. Although the EU may postpone the date to leave, many organisations are preparing for a no-deal. In meantime, the EU has responded to the outcome of the vote, saying it was “horrified” by the massive scale of the defeat in the British parliament, but there was no option of reopening negotiations, Bloomberg reports.
All UK citizens currently resident in the Netherlands, have been given until 1 July 2020 to register for permanent residence. Students status is currently guaranteed. No entry visa’s will be required for UK citizens.
All Immigration information for UK citizens in the Netherlands is published on the IND website.
If either the EU or the UK reach some way out of the current “impasse” before 29 March, then there is no immediate effect on joint delivery of programmes.
Programmes affected by Brexit
The masters’ programme pathways that are effected by Brexit are:
- Master of Science in International Hospitality Management
- Master International Event Management
- Master International Tourism Management
- Master Sports Business Management
The MA in Education will be effected as it is currently planned to be 100% delivered by Brighton, and arrangements will possibly need to be made for delivery.
The bachelor’s programme pathways that are effected by Brexit are:
- Double degree BSc in Business Management (Brighton)
- IBA Entrepreneurship and Small Business. (Only the final year of this programme is jointly delivered, and arrangements will possibly need to be made for delivery. Visa arrangements for students visiting the UK wil not be effected.)
- Double degree BA in International Hospitality Management (Brighton)
- IBA International Hospitality. Only some of the final year of this programme is jointly delivered, and arrangements will possibly need to be made for delivery.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning for WUAS staff will be effected, as it is currently 100% delivered by Brighton, and arrangements will possibly need to be made for delivery.
The PhD delivery does not initially look as though it will be effected, although some arrangements will possibly need to be made for delivery of seminars and workshops.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press