While NUS Scotland believes our future is best served as members of the European Union, we are working hard to ensure the voices of students are heard throughout the process of leaving the EU.
Freedom to live, study, work and travel freely across Europe brings significant benefits to our country. We want to see student mobility through programmes such as Erasmus+ protected, certainty on fee status for EU students looking at study in the UK from 2018 onwards and guarantees that funding currently received from the EU will be matched by the UK Government when we leave the EU. International students – from the EU or elsewhere – make significant cultural, economic, and educational contributions to our country as a whole and we have called for the UK and Scottish Governments to explore how we can ensure international students in Scotland have the ability to remain in the country and contribute to society after their studies.
In October, we launched our ‘More Than a Number: stand up to xenophobia’ campaign by writing to all college and university Principals in Scotland to ask them to stand up against UK Government proposals for foreign workers lists. We received a very positive response from college and university principals, with the majority writing back to share their support. This has contributed to these proposals being quietly dropped by the UK Government.
Our call to action for November’s United for Education demonstration led by NUS and others included demands to let EU students stay after the UK leaves the EU and to demand that the UK Government takes responsibility and tackles the racism, fascism and xenophobia that has been on the rise since the vote to leave the EU. Scottish students mobilised and joined thousands of students from across the UK to march in London.
In the coming weeks we intend to write to every Scottish MP to ask them to stand up for students throughout the process of Brexit and will continue to feed into the wider NUS UK response. We will keep you updated on what we’re doing in the weeks and months ahead.