London, June 23 (IANS) A vast majority of academics in Britain feel that the country should remain in the European Union as Britain voted on Brexit on Thursday.
Universities UK, the association of university heads, has taken a lead in lobbying against leaving the EU — which is nicknamed Brexit — arguing that the universities were stronger inside it: the organisation cites statistics showing that five per cent of students at British universities, and 15 per cent of academic staff, come from other EU countries, an online portal uk.businessinsider.com reported.
The Universities UK analysis found that the country’s universities received over $1.2 billion in EU research grants and contracts in 2014-15, representing 14.2 per cent of all Britain’s income from research grants and contracts that year.
About 100 university vice chancellors signed a letter published by The Independent on Tuesday expressing concern about the impact of a vote for Brexit on universities and students.
The letter argues that membership in the EU helps enable research collaborations and “supports British universities to attract the brightest and best minds from across Europe, enhancing university research and teaching and contributing to economic growth”.
“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,” they wrote.