Briefings & Evidence

Science and Scotland: follow up

Following our appearance at Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee on their inquiry into Science and Scotland, we have written a follow up letter to provide the Committee with additional evidence on their inquiry.

In our follow up letter, we have provided further information to Douglas Ross MP on the balance on international student recruitment in Scotland and the relationship between that and the cross-subsidy of university research. We emphasised that our universities are proud to welcome international students to Scotland, where they make a an important cultural, social, educational and economic contribution. We also highlighted that the growth of international students does not limit the expansion of funded places for Scottish-domiciled students in any way. Firstly, the number of Scottish-domiciled undergraduate students eligible for funding has expanded, from under 111,000 in 2018/19 to over 121,500 in 2021/2022 (FTE).

There was a further question from Alan Brown MP in regard to the UK’s late association to Horizon Europe and the financial impact of this. We firstly stated that the most important thing from our perspective, is to focus on the future and that that in doing so, we’d like to see both Governments and all parts of the research community work together to maximise the opportunities that are now open following the association agreement. On the financial impact, we stated that we don’t believe it is possible to accurately quantify the loss of income to Scotland’s universities or Scotland as a country due to the delay in full association to Horizon Europe. It would be, at best, a speculative assessment but we did provide the balance of funding in previous years.