UK universities have come out in favour of Britain’s membership of the EU ahead of a proposed early referendum date.
University vice-chancellors are to play a leading role in arguing for a ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming referendum – which is rumoured to be held as early as next June.
They are arguing membership of the EU has a very positive impact on higher education and gives British universities a greater global standing.
As it stands there are 125,000 EU students at UK universities under the European-wide student exchange programme – the Erasmus scheme – in which 14,500 British students participated last year, generating over £2.2bn for the economy and creating 19,000 jobs.
As well as this, 14 per cent of academic staff come from other EU countries.
UK universities receive £1bn a year in EU research funding which is more than universities in any other EU country.
Funding boosts the quality of research, benefiting the economy and helping British academics to tap into a continent-wide pool of knowledge.
While the UK must look to reform the EU, it is crucial British universities remain world leaders in research and teaching, and are not withdrawn from EU funding or the Erasmus scheme which is so vital in ensuring Britain remains a world-leader in research and education.
Adur & Worthing Liberal Democrats
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