One-sided report

I write with regard to your report "English graduates are 'driven back south by Scots racist attitudes'" (12 April) and the subsequent views published in Tuesday's letters pages.

As the principal author of the journal paper on which your article is based, I would like to offer some comments. Firstly, I find it surprising that the phrase "driven back south by Scots racist attitudes" appears in quotations in the title, since this phrase is not used in our report.

Indeed, we do not use the word "racist" at all to refer to the experiences of English graduates in Scotland.

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I would also like to make clear that while many of the graduates we spoke to had experienced anti-English sentiment, and that this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously, our report also highlights the widespread identification and affinity with Scotland that many students and graduates from England develop.

Large numbers choose to remain in Scotland to live and work after completing their studies and those who do leave are most likely to do so for economic and personal reasons, and not because of experiences of anti-Englishness.

Your article therefore gives a very one-sided summary of our report. We stress that "anti-English discrimination is a complex issue and it is important not to rush to any facile conclusions regarding its incidence and importance".

Unfortunately, I think your article might encourage the very conclusions we took pains to avoid.


School of Social and Political Science

University of Edinburgh

George Square