Glasgow and Edinburgh universities unite over post-Brexit research fears

Written by Tom Freeman on 26 March 2018 in News

Quality of research in Scotland to be highlighted in Brussels as part of Scottish charm offensive over Brexit

University of Glasgow  - creative commons

The principals of the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh have pledged to work together to mitigate the damage done by Brexit on research in Scotland.

Glasgow’s principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli and Edinburgh's Professor Peter Mathieson will present a united front at a meeting in Brussels tonight to highlight the need for continued international research collaborations.

After the UK leaves the European Union it will no longer automatically be part of European research funding frameworks such as the €76b Horizon 2020.

There are also question marks over the Erasmus student exchange programme and the immigration status of graduates and researchers in Scotland.

The event, run by Scotland House and the Scottish Government in Brussels, will also see HE minister Shirley-Anne Somerville launch a Scottish Government position paper on research and innovation post-Brexit.

She said: “Scottish universities are renowned for their excellence in research and innovation. I am in Brussels to reiterate the importance that Scotland places on its research and innovation partnerships across the EU and reflect on the contribution that EU nationals make to our research and innovation community.

“It is essential that these relationships are protected after Brexit.”

Ahead of the event Muscatelli said: "It is vital that, where appropriate, we can commit to sharing the resources and pooling our efforts to ensure we are still able to benefit from European collaborations in the years to come - and that some of the world-leading collaborative work undertaken at our universities is not put at risk by Brexit.

"Having our two major research-intensive Russell Group universities working in close partnership will be vital to securing Scotland's success in a challenging environment in the years to come - and I look forward to working with Professor Mathieson and his colleagues to boost our collective voice and ensure the best outcomes for our universities and for Scotland."

Mathieson said: “An issue of such shared strategic significance as Brexit makes an alignment with Glasgow the right approach - one that I hope will bring vital social, economic and health benefits."

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