Letter to Prime Minister Theresa May over Brexit
In partnership with other Presidents in student bodies across Scotland, President of the SRC Kate Powell has co-signed a letter showing joint concerns over current Brexit negotiations
Myself along with 15 other student body Presidents in Scotland, showing our concerns about the Higher Education sector being sidelined so far in Brexit discussions, have written a letter to the British Prime Minister Theresa May outlining these concerns and what we would like to see prioritised. You can read this letter below.
You can also view a PDF version of this letter here – Brexit Letter PDF
Madam Prime Minister Theresa May
We are student representatives from Scottish Higher Education Institutions. As Students’ Association Presidents, we represent the University student population of Scotland nationally.
We recognise that the UK voted to leave the European Union with a narrow majority, however we are concerned that the Higher Education sector has been dangerously sidelined thus far in Brexit negotiations. We call for the urgent prioritisation of the following factors in Brexit discussions:
- Continued participation in the Erasmus student exchange scheme.
Between 2014 and 2016, Erasmus provided €43.2 million in funding to Scotland, €25 million of this specifically allocated to mobility projects in the HE sector. The student development opportunities that the program provides are invaluable, and the cross cultural awareness is fundamental to an outward looking and internationally aware British society.
- Protected mobility between Europe and the UK, unimpeded by bureaucracy.
The UK thrives from the contributions made by European academics, staff, and students who form vital parts of our HE community. In order to maintain academic standards and diversity, the ability for European students to come to the UK must be maintained and expedited.
- Sustained levels of research funding.
Between 2007 and 2013, the UK received €8.8 billion in EU funding for research, development, and innovation activities. This financial support is fundamental in enabling research activity – the foundation of our institutions. The prospective loss of research funding must be compensated for, either by an investment of equivalent amounts by the UK government into research, or the negotiation of a relationship that allows this vital financial investment to endure.
If these are unattainable in the current climate, we demand the reopening of a national discourse on Brexit and a re-evaluation of the process. The nation voted to leave the European Union, but they did not vote to suppress an education sector that contributes to the pursuit of knowledge, the personal development of our people, and the economic stability of our country.
Association President, University of St Andrews Students’ Association
Association President, Dundee University Students’ Association
Association President, Edinburgh University Students’ Association
Association President, University of Stirling Students’ Union
Union President, Heriot-Watt University Student Union
President, Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council
Association President, Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association
President, Queen Margaret University Students’ Union
Association President, Abertay Students’ Association
President, University of West Scotland Students’ Association
Association President, University of Strathclyde Students’ Association
President, Scotland’s Rural College Students’ Association
Student President, Aberdeen University Students’ Association
President, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Students’ Union
Student President, Edinburgh Napier University Students’ Association
President, Glasgow Caledonian Students’ Association