The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Irish Academy are the national academies for Scotland, Wales and the island of Ireland respectively. The three societies, who represent and champion research, learning and useful knowledge; have come together to express their common interest in a letter to the Secretaries of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The letter underlines the benefits which the European Union has brought to Higher Education and research and innovation in the UK and the need to ensure that the UK’s future relationship with the EU facilitates and maintains these positive benefits and experiences.
Membership of the EU has also been an important source of funding for higher education, and we emphasise that replacing these sources of funding will be vital to our universities and the nations we represent. We recognise the importance of the proposed UK Shared Prosperity Fund to deliver prosperity throughout the UK. We believe that its operation should respect the devolution settlement and that, to ensure progress in tackling inequalities, be no less in value than current EU Regional and Social funding.
As national academies we are calling for meaningful engagement between the UK Government and Devolved Administrations on the policy and priorities of research and innovation across the UK. We advocate giving further consideration to what arrangements might be put in place with UK Research and Innovation to take full account of the needs, priorities and contributions of the devolved nations.
The three academies have asked to meet the Secretaries of State to discuss these issues.
A copy of the letter is available here.