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Higher Education and Research Bill - Committee (6th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:00 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour 8:00 pm, 25th January 2017

My Lords, I congratulate without qualification those who have put this amendment forward. When I was a young MP in the other place, back in the 1960s, I cut my teeth by making my first major speech on this subject. Anthony Crosland was the Minister at that time and we became great friends.

The world is totally interdependent. It is simply impossible to think of a place that calls itself a university that does not reflect this reality—that international character in every dimension of its activity which is so important to the learning process. We talk about overseas students in financial terms, but what interests me is their indispensable contribution to the whole character, quality and calibre of the university.

I am an emeritus governor of the LSE. I have been involved in the place for a very long time, since I was an undergraduate. I am also a member of Court at Lancaster and Newcastle. There is absolutely no question that the quality of these universities is related to the overseas students and staff. They contribute to the dimension of the university—not only in their specialist studies but by their presence.

Post-Brexit—lamentable Brexit—we are going to be faced with this reality of global interdependence more acutely than ever. Let us come to our senses in time.