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New figures highlight the importance of EU funding to UWS

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has called on the UK Government to ensure that higher education institutions in Scotland do not lose out on vital funding in the aftermath of Brexit – after new figures demonstrated the importance of Horizon 2020 funding to universities in Scotland.

The figures obtained by the SNP show that Scottish higher education institutions receive just under €165 million in Horizon 2020 funding – with the University of the West of Scotland receiving over €740,000.

Thus far, the UK Government has only guaranteed that it will underwrite funding for Horizon 2020 projects which are approved before the UK officially leaves the EU – but has given no ongoing commitment to make up for the loss in funding universities could suffer after Brexit.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“These new figures show just how vital EU funding is to our universities - going a long way to helping our higher education sector maintain its reputation as a leader in research and innovation. And the lack of certainty provided by the Tories puts this reputation on the line – risking the cream of our research talent simply walking away.

“The UK Government has only confirmed that it will underwrite funding received through Horizon2020 for projects confirmed before the UK leaves the EU– meaning that our universities could lose out on millions of pounds in funding after Brexit.

“Our own local university benefits from being able to access EU funding and it’s only right that the UK government – the very people who got us in this mess – provide the certainty that is required.”

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