SCOTLAND’S universities will lose access to lucrative research funding under independence, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael will warn today.
Speaking at the same conference as Mr Russell, Mr Carmichael is expected to tell delegates that leaving the UK would mean Scottish institutions would no longer receive money from Research Councils UK.
Reflecting on the £257 million of research funding received by Scottish institutions in 2012-13, he is expected to say: “We don’t get access to this despite being part of the UK, we get it because we are part of the UK.
“All the Scottish Government did in their white paper was to draw attention to everything that is already good about higher education in Scotland. At the same time they singularly failed to examine what we stand to lose by breaking up the UK-wide networks that we have.
In research – as in so many other areas – there can be no guarantees. If we vote in September to create a new separate state, we also vote to leave the United Kingdom.
“Becoming a new state means setting up new institutions. And it means leaving the institutions we have in the UK, like the UK Research Councils.”
Constitutional expert Alan Trench, has previously said institutions north of the Border would no longer be able to access the “hugely disproportionate” levels of funding they receive from Research Councils UK following independence.
But last year, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, principal of Aberdeen University, said there was “no question” Scotland could remain part of a single research area that crossed national boundaries should Scots vote ‘Yes’.