For Staff



On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, with 51.9 per cent in favour of ‘leave’ and 48.1 per cent for ‘remain’.

Following the vote, the University Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands issued a statement, in which he stressed that:

  • the University will work tirelessly to ensure that students, academics and our wider group of staff from Europe can continue to study and work at Leeds

  • for at least the next couple of years we do not envisage any material change to the status of current and prospective EU students and staff

  • we will work hard to ensure that students and staff who may be affected by the referendum outcome are properly supported at all times and they will be offered advice by the University on a regular basis as the national policy picture becomes clearer.

More generally, Sir Alan stressed that Leeds is an international university in a City that looks outwards; and that our determination to attract and welcome talent from across Europe and around the world is undiminished.

Read the full text of the statement.

The Vice-Chancellor gave an updated view of the impact of Brexit on the University and the higher education sector in his Leader Column for the March 2017 issue of the Reporter.  You can read the column online.

Current situation

Barring unilateral action from the UK Government, the referendum result does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the University’s participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, nor to the immigration status of current and prospective EU students and staff.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty foresees a two-year negotiation process between the UK and other Member States, during which time the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU will be decided.

Nonetheless, a vote to leave the EU clearly poses significant challenges for UK universities, creates uncertainty and raises many important questions that require answers.

The University of Leeds will work with partners including other higher education institutions, Universities UK and The Russell Group to seek clarification on key questions from Government, the European Commission and other relevant agencies. It is likely that it will take time for some of the more difficult questions to be answered, particularly those that require high level political decision making and those that are dependent on the exit negotiations or negotiations of any new (non-member) arrangement between the UK and EU. 

The University is committed to ensuring that staff are updated on developments directly affecting them. Updates will be placed on this page of For Staff.

Below is further information on the position as we understand it based on statements by Government and other agencies in relation to two of the most pressing issues for staff – research funding and the immigration status of EU staff.  If you have questions relating to the referendum and its impact on the University, please email and we will do our best to answer them.

EU staff – immigration status

The University currently employs 690 staff from the EU and they are integral to our current and future success, as well as being a valued part of the community.

The University will work with others in the sector to ensure that we continue to be able to recruit and retain world-leading academics, researchers, professional and support staff under any future immigration policy.

Update 13 December 2017

The government has announced that it has reached an agreement with the European Commission on citizens’ rights. These developments are expected to be ratified by the European Council on 15 December.

We are currently arranging another date for our popular immigration information sessions, to be delivered early in 2018.

There is no need for EU citizens living in the UK to do anything now, including applying for a permanent residence document. There will be no change to the status of EU citizens living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU. If you would like to find out the latest information you can sign up for email updates from the government’s website of information about the status of EU citizens living in the UK 

Follow this link for information about the agreement reached in phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations from Emma Brooksbank (Freeths Solicitors LLP). 

For more information and advice about recruitment, immigration status and other HR issues, please contact Caroline Langham (34150).

Research funding

While Leeds is not as dependent on European research funding as some universities, it is nonetheless of great importance to the work of the University, accounting for nearly 16% of our research income.

The UK’s status as a full participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme has not yet changed as a result of the referendum vote and it is our understanding that existing projects, project grants and contracts will be honoured.

Updated 11 December 2017

Following the publication of the Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the UK Government following Phase 1 of Brexit negotiations, clarifications have been made to the UK’s participation in the remainder of Horizon 2020

  • The UK will pay into the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until 2020 and is thus eligible to participate, and be funded from, programmes included within this budget - including H2020
  • Participation and funding in any H2020 call will therefore be unaffected by Brexit
  • The UK may pay into the next MFF, thus potentially allowing participation in FP9 as a non-member state

If you experience any examples of being omitted from EU bids, please contact Ben Williams who will continue to collate examples and liaise with BEIS accordingly.


In November 2017 the UK Government confirmed that it will underwrite successful bids for Erasmus+ funding  submitted while the UK is still an EU Member State, even if they are not approved until after we leave, and/or payments continue beyond the point at which the UK leaves the EU.  Successful Erasmus+ applicants in 2017 will be awarded funding for the full duration of their projects, and all beneficiaries should continue their projects with their partners as usual through to completion.  Further information is available on the Erasmus+ website.

Please direct any queries to the EU Funding Team.


A section of the University’s main website has been created, dedicated to informing current and prospective students on issues affecting them. This includes a letter sent to all postgraduate researchers by Professor Claire Honess, Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

While the University endeavours to keep this information as up to date as possible, it cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. For the latest information from the government, please visit the Department for Exiting the European Union website. Regularly updated Brexit FAQs for universities and students are also available on the Universities UK website.


Immigration information sessions

You can now download the presentation slides from the immigration information session held in November, which discussed the implications of the Brexit vote.

Immigration information session - 20 July

The presentation slides from the EU information session on 20 July are now available to download.

Immigration information session for all staff - 12 July

Emma Brooksbank from Simpson Millar Solicitors will give an update to staff on EU immigration matters in the light of Brexit and the recent offer by the government relating to EU citizens in the UK.

Government issues proposal for EU citizens living in the UK: key questions answered

Immigration legal expert Emma Brooksbank answers key questions about what the government's new proposals for EU citizens means for anyone living, working or studying in the UK.

Immigration matters: one-to-one advice sessions

As part of the support that the University is offering staff on immigration matters, free 30 min one-to-one legal advice sessions will be held on 20 July 2017. Book now.

Government information on the status of EU citizens in the UK

The government has published information about the status of EU citizens living in the UK and you can sign up for email updates.

Support for staff on immigration matters

The University is introducing a package of measures aimed at supporting colleagues who may have queries or concerns about immigration matters.

Immigration information sessions

You can now download the presentation slides from the immigration information session held on Thursday 27 April 2017.

Funding support for EU students applying for 2018/19

The government has confirmed that EU students will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, Masters, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in the academic year 2018 to 2019.

Brexit: Working together

The Vice-Chancellor's Leader Column from the forthcoming Reporter.

Browse Brexit by date