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.

Lewis Wood

Association President, University of St Andrews Students’ Association

Sean O’Connor

Association President, Dundee University Students’ Association

Patrick Kilduff

Association President, Edinburgh University Students’ Association

Astrid Smallenbroek

Association President, University of Stirling Students’ Union

Diarmuid Cowan

Union President, Heriot-Watt University Student Union

Kate Powell

President, Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council

Laura Glennie

Association President, Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association

Stewart Sands

President, Queen Margaret University Students’ Union

Tam Wilson

Association President, Abertay Students’ Association

Heather Armstrong

President, University of West Scotland Students’ Association

Calvin Hepburn

Association President, University of Strathclyde Students’ Association

Gemma Jones

President, Scotland’s Rural College Students’ Association

Lawson Ogubie

Student President, Aberdeen University Students’ Association

Will Stringer

President, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Students’ Union

Manish Khatri

Student President, Edinburgh Napier University Students’ Association

Kevin Campbell

President, Glasgow Caledonian Students’ Association