‘In an open letter to The Independent, vice chancellors from almost every major higher education institution in Britain say they are 'gravely concerned' about a vote to leave.
Britain will lose its place as a “global leader in science and innovation” if voters turn their back on the European Union in this week’s referendum, around 100 universities warn today.
The signatories include the heads of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham and Bristol and all of the UK universities in top 50 world rankings. The letter shows the depths of concern among academics about the risks of pulling out of the EU.
They point out that every year, universities generate over £73 billion for the UK economy – £3.7bn of which is generated by students from EU countries alone.
“EU membership supports British universities to attract the brightest and best minds from across Europe, enhancing university research and teaching and contributing to economic growth,” they write.
“Voluntarily cutting ourselves out of the world’s largest economic bloc would undermine our position as a global leader in science and innovation, impoverish our campuses and limit opportunities for British people.” ‘ - The Independent
The East Anglian Daily Times reports that ‘100 academics from the region have signed a joint statement saying that “the interests of British universities and the knowledge economy they represent” are best served by staying in the EU.
They include 19 from the University of Essex, 17 from the University of East Anglia and 66 from the University of Cambridge.
On top of this over 500 scientists from the East of England have signed a joint statement saying leaving the EU would “stifle our science, innovation and jobs”.
Businesses and universities in the East of England have received more than £250million from the EU science fund since 2014 and are expected to receive a total of £1.2billion by 2020 if the UK votes to remain in the EU.
Suffolk MP Dr Therese Coffey, who has a PhD in chemistry, said: “Being in the EU is vital for having strong science and a successful economy in the East of England.
“It means more investment, more innovation and working together across borders to solve the big challenges we face, from cancer to heart disease.” ‘ - East Anglian Daily Times
‘University heads across the North East have backed a ‘remain’ vote in Thursday’s historic EU referendum.
They said that being in the European Union helps them attract students - and makes it more likely that students will get good jobs once they leave.
And the university leaders pointed out that the EU also provides vital research funding. Newcastle and Durham Universities alone have benefitted from over £50m of EU funding since 2008.’ - Chronicle Live