UK Gov Failing Universities with Brexit

“The UK Government has singularly failed to consider the needs of Scotland’s higher education sector for a number of years – and there is no sign that this will change during the Brexit negotiations.” 

Higher Education Minister for the Scottish Government  Shirley-Anne Somerville was meeting with representatives from universities, research institutes and other organisations in the higher education sector.

She said:

“The UK Government’s damaging rhetoric on immigration and refusal to clarify the post-Brexit status of EU nationals is extremely worrying and is already affecting the sector’s ability to recruit and retain international staff and students.”

“Let me be clear: they are very much welcome in Scotland.”

“Another concern is future access to EU research funding – particularly the Horizon 2020 programme which has provided more than €217 million to our universities. That’s why our aim is to keep Scotland in the single market, so we continue to be part of EU education and research programmes.”

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years. Its aim is to drive economic growth and create jobs by supporting research and innovation “breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.”

Professor Anton Muscatelli, who is Principal  of the University of Glasgow and Chair of the Standing Council on Europe said:

“The ability to attract and retain the best global talent is what puts Scottish education among the very best in the world. Securing freedom of movement is therefore key to the future of the sector.”

“I am very pleased this has been recognised by the Scottish Government as it set out its position on Brexit.”

Ms Somerville stated:

“We are determined to stand up for Scotland’s interests during the Brexit negotiations – in which the Scottish Government will continue to play a full part. This clearly includes the interests of our world-class universities and research institutes.”

The meeting was also attended by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, Michael Russell

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