EU Referendum - Senate statement

Published: 16 May 2016

The University's Council of Senate has agreed a statement on the forthcoming EU referendum.

Image of the UK Government EU Referendum 2016 logoThe referendum on membership of the European Union will take place on 23 June. As with the referendum on Scottish independence, the University of Glasgow will take a neutral position, whilst encouraging colleagues who wish to engage in the debate to do so and by acting as a forum for both public and institutional debate of the issues concerned.

Council of Senate has agreed the following statement concerning the EU referendum: 

The Council of Senate recognises that the views of staff and students in the University will vary regarding Britain’s remaining part of the European Union. The Council welcomes the University’s decision that it would contribute to the debate on EU membership in part through acting as a forum for both public and institutional discussion of the issues concerned, and involving participants from both sides in the debate.

The Council of Senate also wishes to affirm strongly the positive value that the UK’s membership of the EU currently provides to the University. The Council’s view is that, as a global university, the exchange of ideas is essential to the University’s ability to help society to progress. The mobility that EU membership permits and that enables staff and students (often with EU financial support) to work and study in Europe, and that enables staff and students from across the EU to come to Glasgow, contributes to the fulfilment of our mission as a University. It also enables our graduates to take up employment anywhere in the EU without need for a work permit. The enrichment that this activity provides also strengthens the University’s ability to contribute to the local and national economy. It permits us to participate in cross-EU research and teaching collaborations that benefit all partners; it allows us to help shape EU research policy to the benefit of Scotland and the UK as a whole; and it provides us with access to EU research funding. While it is of course conceivable that the UK could seek to continue to participate in EU programmes from outside the EU, the simplest way to ensure the continuation of these benefits would be to remain in the EU.
Some brief examples of benefits to the University of EU membership:

Free movement of talented staff and students:

  • More than 3,200 of our students (c. 12.5%) and around 21% of our academic staff are from the EU outwith the UK.

EU Support for research:

  • The EU provides c. 10% of Scottish HE research funding. In the three years to August 2015, Glasgow won new EU grants worth over £50M. Approximately 50% of the European Research Council grant holders at Glasgow are non-UK EU nationals.

EU promotion of complex transnational collaborations:

  • Glasgow leads cross-Europe initiatives and participates in many more in a wide range of research fields – e.g., the nEUROSTRESSPEP project involves 14 partners with €7M funding; the EuroFIT project involves 12 partners and €6M funding. Other major projects include: gravitational waves; malaria; biodiversity; space research. The EU also provides valuable funding for the improvement of the infrastructure that supports our research.

First published: 16 May 2016

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