Brexit chaos is ‘killing’ education system, warn academics and teachers

Brexit chaos is “killing” the education system across the country, an open letter signed by dozens of academics, teachers and students has penned.

They warn that leaving the EU will make “schools poorer” on the back of hardline austerity cuts, while thousands of EU university staff have already quit. The letter has been organised by the Best for Britain campaign, which is seeking to keep the country in the European Union.

“Brexit is breaking our universities,” it states.

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“We will not let our schools, colleges and universities become the forgotten victims of Brexit. Our education has been neglected for years by the political class. And Brexit is a step too far.

Brexit chaos is killing the education system across the country, an open letter signed by dozens of academics, teachers and students has penned. Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire
Brexit chaos is killing the education system across the country, an open letter signed by dozens of academics, teachers and students has penned. Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

“That’s why we urge our MPs here in Scotland to realise the Government’s deal would destroy our communities. Brexit must be voted down, and the public must have the final say.”

The letter has been signed by 39 teachers, lecturers and students across Scotland.

Universities in Scotland rely on EU research investment, with millions of pounds invested over the last decade.

“Our universities in Scotland are held together by over 6,500 dedicated EU academic staff,” it adds.

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray. Picture: Neil Hanna

“But since the referendum, nearly 4,000 university employees from the EU have left, research unearthed by Best for Britain shows. Brexit is breaking our universities.”

Edinburgh South Labour MP Ian Murray said: “This letter is a stark reminder of the real risk that Brexit poses to our country.

“Much of the focus has been on the devastating impact on our economy, but it could also have a long-lasting generational impact on our education system.

“Scotland, and Edinburgh in particular, is a centre of excellence for university research and Brexit threatens the vital funding for that.

“For the sake of the next generation, we should put this issue back to the public and hold a people’s vote with the option to remain in the EU.”

Last year the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) warned there was “anecdotal evidence” EU staff are finding or considering new roles.