We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Education Secretary should publish facts on research funding assertions

April 30, 2014 4:23 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today made the positive case for Liam McArthurLiam McArthurstrong Scottish higher education institutions as part of the UK family of nations.

In response to the education secretary's publication on university research in an independent Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Liam McArthur said that the report offers nothing new in the way of providing assurances that Scotland's excellent research institutions remain competitive through sharing in UK-wide funding.

Mr McArthur also highlighted a number of academics who have cited the lack of precedent for cross-border funding of another country's research activity.

Mr McArthur said:

"Scotland's thriving higher education institutions received £257 million of UK research funding in 2012/13. The strength of our home-grown talent means that we punch above our weight in terms of UK funding. This is a success which benefits people across the UK and indeed the world. It is part of the positive case for remaining in the UK family of nations so that we can build upon the progress that our universities have made.

"The education secretary's report offers nothing new in the way of providing assurances that Scotland's excellent research institutions remain competitive through sharing in UK-wide research funding. He would put at risk the many arrangements which have enabled our research community to excel on an international scale. As the Chief Executive of the independent Economic and Social Research Council Professor Paul Boyle made clear these arrangements cannot be taken for granted.

"If Scotland votes for independence in September, cross-border arrangements for research funding would be subject to negotiations. The outcome of these cannot be predicted. Professor Paul Boyle reminded the Education Committee only last month that there are no examples internationally of one country paying out large sums of money for research carried out in another country.

"I know that if we want to build upon the success story of our universities we should do so from within the UK. The SNP owe it to our universities to publish facts, and not more rhetoric, which back up their claims."