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University leaders voice support for EU membership

20 February 2016
EU and UK flags

​Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the EU referendum will be held in June, university leaders in the UK have underlined their strong support for continued membership of the European Union.


University vice-chancellors argue that membership of the EU supports UK universities to collaborate more effectively internationally and attract the best minds to the UK, enhancing university research and teaching. This, in turn, contributes to economic growth and job creation, enhances opportunities for British students and enables cutting edge research discoveries.

Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: “Inside the EU, our outstanding British universities are even stronger. EU membership enhances university research and education which, in turn, benefits British people.

“We are better able to collaborate with the best minds from across Europe to carry out cutting edge research that leads to innovations and discoveries that boost our economy, create new jobs and improve people’s lives. In a world where many of the challenges we face are global, from cancer to climate change, it is more important than ever that we minimise barriers to working with international partners to share expertise and knowledge.

“The evidence shows that our universities will be significantly stronger and more effective if we stay in the EU. British students benefit from being taught by the best minds from across Europe. Membership of the EU is good for our universities and good for the science and research that improves people’s lives. Outside the EU, we risk cutting ourselves off from unique support and networks and undermining the UK’s position as a global leader in science and innovation.”

In the run up to the referendum, Universities will be a significant voice in the debate, playing a proactive role in promoting the value of EU membership to our universities and through them to the British public. The Universities for Europe campaign will also host public debates at universities across the country to ensure that a range of views are heard and debated.

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK


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