EUA stresses that pact on research will be key part of Brexit agreement
Several high-level representatives of the European University Association (EUA) and UK universities pronounce their firm conviction that a pact on research will be a key part of the UK-EU accord. In an article first published in the Financial Times on 24 April 2018, they state that, given that the broad terms of the future UK-EU relationship need to be agreed by October 2018, "it is vitally important that future research and education co-operation is prioritised in the final agreement".
According to the phase one Brexit deal agreed last year, the UK will continue to participate in the EU’s research framework and Erasmus+ exchange programme until 2020. However, EU proposals for the successor research and education programmes are being prepared at the moment. In case of no Brexit deal by the time the new programmes start (1 January 2021), the UK would be excluded from the initial wave of research and education partnerships, which would be mutually damaging.
The group therefore stresses that the ultimate aim should be to secure UK participation, as a full associate country, in the next EU Research Framework Programme and in Erasmus+: "Early, fruitful negotiation on research and education, as part of the wider negotiations, would provide reassurance that a deep and constructive relationship between the EU and UK is feasible in all areas. This would be a win-win for all Europeans", they conclude.
The authors of the article are Prof. Paul Boyle, Vice-chancellor of the University of Leicester and EUA Vice-president, Professor Martine Rahier, EUA Vice-president, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter and Chair of Universities UK International Policy Network, and Professor Rolf Tarrach, EUA President, Brussels, Belgium.
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