Scottish universities to team up to offset Brexit harm

The principals of Glasgow and Edinburgh universities have pledged to team up mitigate the potential impact of Brexit on their industry.

Glasgow Principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said the move is needed to ensure the "world-leading collaborative work undertaken at our universities is not put at risk by Brexit".

He will be joined by his Edinburgh counterpart Professor Peter Mathieson to outline the plan at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Glasgow University Principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli warned of Brexit risks (UoG/PA)
Glasgow University Principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli warned of Brexit risks (UoG/PA)

Speaking ahead of the event, Sir Anton said: "It is vital that, where appropriate, we can commit to sharing the resources and pooling our efforts to ensure we are still able to benefit from European collaborations in the years to come - and that some of the world-leading collaborative work undertaken at our universities is not put at risk by Brexit.

"Having our two major research-intensive Russell Group universities working in close partnership will be vital to securing Scotland's success in a challenging environment in the years to come - and I look forward to working with Professor Mathieson and his colleagues to boost our collective voice and ensure the best outcomes for our universities and for Scotland."

Edinburgh University principal Peter Mathieson praised the plan to work with Glasgow (UoE/PA)
Edinburgh University principal Peter Mathieson praised the plan to work with Glasgow (UoE/PA)

Mr Matheson said: "An issue of such shared strategic significance as Brexit makes an alignment with Glasgow the right approach - one that I hope will bring vital social, economic and health benefits."

Scottish Further Education, Higher Education and Science Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville will attend the event and launch the Scottish Government's position paper on the forthcoming EU research and innovation programme.

She said: "The continuing uncertainty around many aspects of the UK's future relationship with Europe is an issue of considerable, and increasing, concern for Scottish universities.

"That is why I welcome the step that the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh have taken to bolster their influence on the international stage and strengthen the voice of Scotland's higher education sector."

She stressed the need for Scotland's research and innovation partnerships across the EU to be protected following Brexit.

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