The meeting presented an opportunity for the mayor to meet key leaders from across the sector, bringing them together to ensure that London’s top universities are able to continue to flourish and innovate.
Sadiq reassured them that he recognised the contribution London’s HEIs make to the capital’s global reputation and competitiveness and that the quality of research and teaching was a major part of attracting the world’s most talented students.
He said that he valued the diversity of HEIs in London, including the world-class arts and creative institutions, which play a core part in the capital’s innovation ecosystem and cultural life.
Khan said: “London is the higher education capital of the world, with more leading universities, and international students than any other city and I want to make sure it stays that way. EU students, staff and research partnerships are a key part of this.
“In addition, people who come from abroad to study in London leave as ambassadors for our city, spreading the message across the globe that we are a fantastic place to live, work and visit.
"I’m saying loud and clear to the world that London is open as the best place to study, do business and innovate and a city where all Londoners can take advantage of these opportunities.
“I want all of our international students and academic staff to know that they are welcome in London – on that front, nothing has changed. I value the enormous contribution they make to our city, and that will not change as a result of the EU referendum.
“I’ll work with London’s higher education institutions to ensure their needs are properly understood and reflected as we negotiate the right settlement for our international students.”
Khan also spoke about the opportunities open to London’s HEIs of the growing international student market, stating the importance of a supportive visa system which encourages international students to work in the UK post-graduation.
He pledged to push the government to ensure that the concerns of HEIs are properly represented in the UK’s negotiations with the EU.
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