Ex-ministers warn Brexit will damage universities

The Times released an article today providing coverage of a letter, co-written by Charles, warning that:

“A vote to leave the EU would be a leap into the unknown that would weaken our universities and lessen their positive impact on the British people and society.”

The full article can be found here, and below is the text of the letter:

Dear Sir,

As current and former government ministers for universities and science we have seen first-hand the vital role the EU plays in ensuring the UK’s world-class universities remain at the cutting-edge of knowledge and research. 

Many of the challenges which face us today are global – from tackling climate change, to fighting cancer, to developing new energy sources. The EU supports British universities to collaborate with the best minds from across Europe and beyond to carry out pioneering research that improves people’s lives. The EU also reduces the barriers and bureaucracy associated with bringing together people from different countries, and means researchers can pool their knowledge and resources to achieve more together than they could do alone.

Over 60% of our international research partners are from other EU countries. Free movement of people makes it easier for our universities to attract the brightest and best students and researchers from across Europe. 15% of academic staff at British universities are from other EU countries, along with over 125,000 students.

University research benefits from their expertise, our economy benefits from their spending and British students benefit from being taught by the greatest minds from across Europe.

A vote to leave the EU would be a leap into the unknown that would weaken our universities and lessen their positive impact on the British people and society.

The letter was under-signed by:

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science 2015 –

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities 2014-15

Rt Hon The Lord Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science 2010-14

Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2010-15

Rt Hon The Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2009-10

Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property 2008-10

Rt Hon John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills 2007-09

Bill Rammell, Minister of State for Higher Education 2005-08

Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, 2006-2007

Rt Hon Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for Education and Skills 2002-04

Rt Hon The Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science and Innovation 1998-2006

Ian Taylor MBE, Minister of State for Science and Technology 1994-97

Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Secretary of State for Education and Science 1990-1992

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