Student leaders at Birmingham City University, Aston University and University of Birmingham have joined forces to demand that the voice of students and young people across the city are heard as the government approaches the beginning of Brexit negotiations.
In a unique cross-city collaboration, Ellie Keiller, Jo Goodman and Ahmed Hassan (Students’ Union Presidents for the three Birmingham universities) have joined forces to lay out the priorities and demands of second city students to be sent to MPs in the hope of informing the coming negotiations on Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Key priorities for the city’s tens of thousands of students include: community cohesion, the right for EU citizens to live and work in the UK, the preservation of the Erasmus Scheme (which allows thousands of students to study abroad every year), the ring-fencing of £836 million research funding (equivalent to that attracted from the EU) and protection of apprenticeships for Birmingham’s young people.
Jo Goodman, President of Birmingham City University's Students' Union, said: “Following the result of the EU referendum last year, the Higher Education community has faced significant uncertainty. After successfully organising the Birmingham University’s Summit at Parliament alongside Birmingham MP’s, joining forces with other institutions allowed us to speak with a louder voice.
Ahmed Hassan, President at Aston University: “For far too long the Brexit debate has centered on trade and immigration, but it is time to look beyond that. Education is just as important and Brexit will have a large effect on it and the millions of people involved. Yes ‘Brexit Means Brexit’ but what does it mean for the future of our Education?”
Ellie Keiller, President at University of Birmingham, said: “Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in Europe, with over 40% of our population currently under 25. Without the voices of young people being heard in the coming months, we believe that Brexit could be a disaster – not only for students, but for the lives of all young people across Birmingham and throughout the UK. We hope that the Prime Minister and MPs take note of our concern, both for the sake of our futures and for that of our city.”