Universities Scotland has responded to the House of Common’s Business, Innovation and Skill’s Committee’s call for evidence as part of its inquiry into Business views on the EU Referendum.
Our key messages to the Committee are as follows:
- Universities Scotland’s position on Europe is to set out the opportunities and challenges as we see them, to ensure that policy makers on all sides of the debate are very clear on the implications of their preferred outcome for the university sector and to challenge the proponents of both outcomes to secure a set of funding and policy outcomes that enable universities to be successful.
- The decision taken in the referendum on EU membership will impact on the income generated by HEIs and their economic activity that creates and sustains jobs and creates investment and prosperity.
- The EU is a very important source of research income for universities and membership of the EU opens up many opportunities for universities that contribute to their success. Scotland’s 19 HEIs are highly diverse and vary significantly. The success of them, whatever their size or individual mission, owes a lot to their ability to operate as part of a teaching and research ecosystem that reaches across the world, transcending national borders.
- The EU is a significant partner in terms of the volume of ‘trade’ that Scottish HEIs have with Europe, across their teaching, research and innovation.
- One in every ten pounds of research income that Scotland’s universities win competitively comes from EU sources.
- Scotland’s HEIs are also involved in, and have access to, large multinational research facilities because of the UK’s membership of the EU.