As the United Kingdom files for divorce from the European Union after more than 40 years together, all eyes have fallen on Scotland where all 32 council areas overwhelmingly backed Remain, a staggering 62 per cent to just 38 per cent for Leave.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the people of Scotland see their future as part of the EU, adding that a second Scottish independence referendum is “highly likely” with those loyal to Remain expressing concern that the north of the UK is being separated from the EU “against its will.”
It’s an uncertain day for both a continent and a nation, but how are leading educational figures in Scotland responding to the result, and what are their hopes for the future of higher education in Scotland – and the EU?
The head of the National Union of Students in Scotland, Vonnie Sandlan, echoed many young voters’ sentiments on Friday morning by saying the result was “incredibly disappointing,” one Scotland “clearly took a different stand against.”
Sandlan said: “We saw a really positive and diverse campaign in Scotland for our continued membership of the EU – and students were at the heart of that, recognising the immense benefits membership brings for students and young people, and our universities and colleges. This was a UK-wide vote, but the voices of the positive majority in Scotland cannot be ignored”
The principal assured those EU students who have been made an offer for 2016 (or 2017 deferred entry) at the elite university will be unaffected. He added: “Given the complexity of exit negotiations, it is unlikely the current process and funding arrangements will change significantly in the short term. We are, therefore, encouraging those who are considering applying for 2017 entry to do so in the usual way.
“I want to emphasise to my colleagues and to our students from the EU just how much this university values your contribution to our community. You are a vital and essential part of our university. The University of Glasgow was founded in the European tradition, and nothing will change our international outlook which will continue to look to Europe for our academic collaborations.”
“It is now our responsibility to work with Government and other bodies, to ensure a smooth and successful transition to a productive future for the university.”
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