Tuesday 20-12-2016 - 14:50
NUS Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government's paper "Scotland's Place in Europe", which sets out the Government's proposals for mitigating the impact of Brexit on Scotland. You can read the full paper here
Vonnie Sandlan, President of NUS Scotland, said:
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s paper, which reiterates the importance of protecting the huge benefits that EU membership brings to our students, universities, and colleges – all of which have long prided themselves on being outward looking, collaborative institutions. We know that international students – whether from the EU or elsewhere – make significant cultural, economic, and educational contributions to our universities and colleges, and to our country as a whole. Membership of the EU and mobility programmes like Erasmus+ bring great opportunities for Scottish students, who can currently study just as easily in Paris as they can in Paisley. But despite the importance of these schemes, the UK Government has failed to outline plans to protect them, creating huge risks for both inward and outward mobility.
“As the paper highlights, there’s now a very real risk that we lose the great benefits these opportunities bring if Brexit creates unnecessary additional barriers for students wanting to travel across Europe to study. Equally, we hope that this process presents an opportunity for Scotland to get new powers to further support international students to remain in Scotland after their studies, as referenced by the Government’s paper. In the shorter term, we’d also echo the Government’s concern that the negotiation process could create high levels of uncertainty for those students considering moving to Scotland on whether their status as a student will change if Brexit happens during their studies.
“Going forward, we look forward to working with the Scottish government and all those who have a desire to ensure that students and our world-class education system aren’t disadvantaged by the risks that Brexit presents – and ensuring a settlement that works. This absolutely must include securing the freedom of students to move through the EU to work and study, and exploring how we can ensure that international students in Scotland have the ability to remain in the country, contributing to society, after their studies. We hope the UK Government uses this as an opportunity to work meaningfully with the Scottish Government and stakeholders on these issues.”