Stirling Principal supports staying in the EU

‘A Brexit would have a negative impact’

Stirling University principal Gerry McCormac has shown his support for the UK staying within the EU, with the future of universities in the UK at the centre of his concerns.

McCormac outlined these fears in an interview with academic website The Conversation alongside vice-chancellors from University College London and Sheffield Hallam universities, Michael Arthur and Chris Husbands.

Addressing several issues which would affect UK universities in the aftermath of a Brexit, McCormac first raised concerns for student mobility stating, “a Brexit would have a negative impact on student mobility, cultural diversity and understanding – it would greatly reduce student and staff exchange.”

McCormac also highlighted the economic impact on Scottish universities due to restricting the movement of students telling The Conversation, “over 50,000 international students, 21,000 hail from the EU , the highest proportion in the UK. Their disappearance would amount to a major economic impact on Scotland.”

Not only the impact to the universities themselves, but also to Stirling itself was told by McCormac who added that, “The off-campus expenditure of all EU students is estimated to be worth over £400m per annum, creating and supporting close to 4,000 jobs.”

The university’s principal was also questioned on the impact on research carried out to which McCormac warned, “the UK is a net beneficiary of research funding from the EU, which is worth over £1 billion a year to the UK.”

The interviewees concluded by emphasising the consensus of the majority of universities shows that a Leave vote would have a significant impact on the future of UK universities.