Education Minister Kirsty Williams will call for clarity on Welsh institutions’ future access to European research networks when she meets with her counterparts from across the UK tomorrow.
The Minister convened and will chair the meeting with Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead, and Chris Skidmore MP, the UK Government’s Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. Officials from the Northern Ireland Executive will also be present at the meeting in Cardiff.
As well as preparations for Brexit and its implications on the HE sector, the Ministers are also expected to discuss the UK Government’s forthcoming Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, led by Philip Augar.
Kirsty Williams said:
“This meeting comes at an absolutely crucial time for our Higher Education sector, as well as the many EU staff and students vital to our universities. Our universities and colleges make a significant contribution to our economy in Wales, employing around 29,000 people, and benefit greatly from our EU membership.
“I’ve been very cIear our higher education institutions need urgent clarity on a number of critical issues, including their engagement in EU-led research schemes, their participation in Erasmus+ and the right of EU nationals working in our universities to continue to do so.
“I’ve already announced £3.5 million for a programme run by Wales’ universities to drive international partnerships and promote Wales as a study destination in a post Brexit world.
“I welcome the opportunity to work with my counterparts to ensure our colleges and universities are not disadvantaged and do not lose a single penny as a result of Brexit.”