Russell Group universities and the European Union

14 April 2016

The UK should remain at the heart of a modernised, competitive and outward-looking European Union to drive world-class research and innovation at our leading universities.

Research and innovation are global pursuits and are most effective when ideas and people are mobile across borders. The free movement of talent, the networks, collaborations, critical mass of research activity and funding that we gain from EU membership contributes to the competitiveness of our leading universities and the UK economy as a whole.

Our success as a knowledge economy hinges on our ability to collaborate with the best minds in Europe. The scientific landscape has grown ever more international and many of the challenges that face us today are global, from tackling climate change to fighting cancer and developing new energy sources. There is growing recognition that these require a real critical mass of excellent research and diverse minds working to solve them. It is no surprise that research carried out in collaboration with international partners has 50% more impact than that carried out by a single country. 

The EU is not perfect and we support reforms which enhance our universities’ ability to benefit further from forging productive collaborations across Europe. But leaving would mean we lose our seat at the table and our influence over EU-wide programmes and funding which enhance world-class collaborative research.

Read more in our new publication and explore some case studies highlighting the world-leading research being conducted through EU funding, collaborations across Europe and by academics from other EU countries.

Russell Group universities and the European Union

World-class research and teaching at Russell Group universities is supported and enhanced by the UK's membership of the European Union.

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Related case studies