North-East Labour Member of the European Parliament, Jude Kirton-Darling, today called on the Theresa May, and her new Conservative government, to act swiftly to ensure future cooperation between UK universities and research institutions and their European Union counterparts.
Currently UK universities and research institutions receive over £730 million of EU funding per year, welcome thousands of students from EU countries and collaborate on a wide range of cutting-edge research projects.
However, following the UK’s decision to exit the EU, many institutions have voiced concerns that their access to EU funds could be reduced or even cut, and that key relationships will be irrevocably damaged.
Speaking after a meeting in Brussels with the representatives of the Russell Group of universities, Ms Kirton-Darling said,
“Over the last thirty the years, universities across the UK, including Durham and Newcastle universities in my own constituency, have received millions of pounds of EU funding and built up strong relationships with institutions across Europe.”
“This has led not only to economic success stories, but also world changing innovations and amazing cultural exchanges.”
“The fallout from the brexit vote, threatens to have negative economic consequences and seriously diminish this position as world leader in research and innovation.”
“However, the UK Government now has the opportunity to prevent this.”
“By prioritising access to as much EU funding as is possible, and prioritising our access to academic excellence and collaborative experinces, we can ensure our universities continue to lead the world.”