The Conservative MP and former Universities Minister visited London Metropolitan University the day before the vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill
Date: 17 January 2019
Students and staff packed out the third floor of the Roding building to engage in an open Q & A session with the Conservative MP and former Universities Minister Sam Gyimah, on Monday 14 January.
Mr Gyimah was visiting London Met to hear the thoughts of staff and students the day before the historic vote on the EU Withdrawal Agreement. He began the session by stating, given that as former Universities Minister, education is his biggest political focus, and that he believes ‘education can transform people’s life experiences.’ He resigned from his ministerial post in November 2018, in opposition to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal; specifically the UK’s decision to withdraw from the Galileo satellite programme.
Stephanie Steadman, a second-year Criminology and Psychology (BSc) student, hosted and invited questions from the audience before asking Mr Gyimah some challenging questions of her own.
A historic moment
Mr Gyimah received a number of meaningful questions from passionate students who were concerned with the possible effects of Brexit. The questions ranged from Britain becoming isolationist, effects Brexit will have on the BAME and working-class communities, and how the citizens of Gibraltar will fair if Brexit goes through.
A Journalism student asked, ‘If a second referendum is put into place, will it simply create even more division within the country?’ Mr Gyimah replied saying that, since the initial referendum in 2016, we ‘now know more than we did’, and that ‘a second referendum will try to answer the question of what will happen in our future.’
One member of staff asked how Brexit may affect and influence the Higher Education sector. He responded by saying that ‘we have [in Britain] the best and brightest students in the world’, and all must be done to protect and support universities, as the ‘university sector is bigger than the car manufacturing sector.’
To follow Sam Gyimah as he visits other universities in the country, follow the Twitter hashtag ‘#SamOnCampus’.