The Principal and the EU
The Principal gives his view on the Referendum vote and his determination to protect and grow the Academy’s peerless European credentials
Although there is considerable uncertainty about the implications of the referendum, one thing is totally certain. The Academy welcomes people from everywhere. That means we remain deeply committed to our identity as a vibrant international musical community. At the Academy we offer the very best education to students from all countries of the world, as we have done for nearly 200 years. Without our multi-national character, we would not be the Royal Academy of Music and of that there can be no argument. As musicians we will continue to promote the many benefits of collaboration and the free exchange of ideas, without regard for international boundaries.
In fact, events of the past week have made us more determined than ever to build still further on the Academy’s very strong international character, connections and culture. If we will now need to work harder to demonstrate our continuing suitability to provide outstanding quality and value to a cosmopolitan community from over fifty nationalities, then so be it. Talented young musicians from every one of the EU’s 28 countries are studying here.
‘Our sense of European identity remains undimmed at the Royal Academy of Music.’
Our policy is to ensure the durability of the Academy’s provision, within a global context, well beyond the expected turbulence of the next few months and years. There will be no immediate changes for EU students. The Student Loans Company has already announced that all current and incoming EU students will continue to be entitled to loans for the full duration of their programmes of study.
We will also consider carefully our own additional plans to assist European students through their studies as more detailed information emerges. We will be working closely with Universities UK, the University of London and the sector as a whole to lobby vigorously for careful consideration of the future status of European students within UK Higher Education.
With or without the EU, we shall ensure that the Academy remains the ‘conservatoire of choice’ for all students. This includes our current practice and ambition to continue employing leading international professors and artists from all over the world.
Our cosmopolitan community simply has to emerge stronger from the raft of challenges the whole world faces over the months and years ahead as a result of last week’s decision. As musicians, we are well-placed to lead the way – not least because our language speaks across all divides.
Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal
Photo: Christian Thielemann conducts Academy Symphony Orchestra – including representatives of over 20 nations – in Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung in January 2016.