Scotland’s universities will suffer if students and academics from around the world are unable to secure visas to study in the UK after Brexit, Richard Lochhead has warned.
The Scottish Government minister for higher education said in a Holyrood debate yesterday that it would be “utter madness” if the UK’s departure from the European Union had a detrimental impact on the sector.
He pledged that financial support would also be offered to Scottish students at EU universities to continue their studies in Scotland after Brexit.
More than a fifth of teaching and research staff at universities north of the Border are from EU states, according to the Scottish Funding Council.
Concerns have been raised that hundreds of Scottish students could suddenly be liable for international student fees depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.
Mr Lochhead said: “If you left Scotland to study in the EU, and Brexit means you are forced to give up your studies, we guarantee to provide student support so you can study here.”