5 Comments

  1. t

    You didnt mention that the universities themselves have a massive self-vested financial interest in being in the eu as since the limit on student numbers was lifted they seek to recruit (and actively go out to other countries to do this) foreign students for the higher tuition fees.
    Then there’s the sheer volume of foreign students thats been opened to them by the eu and the mission of all universities is to get as many students as they possibly can.
    The academic researchers are absolutely in league with them as they seek to recruit the maximum number of students for their course and department which pays for their job at the university. All the points you made are secondary to this fact. In my experience this financial security of money flowing in to their department is of far greater importance than the fringe benefits of collaborations with groups in other countries, which is largely minor exchange of information and occasional samples because of the travel difficulties/expense etc.
    By your own admission in another article, only 10% of science funding over the last 7 years came from the eu anyway, which is consistent with my experience working in academic groups.

    The only people who benefit from all this are big business universities, any growth in academic science jobs are mainly mopped up by the mass of european workers who have come in in the last 10 years or so as they speak english as their second language and now often outnumber british people in research groups and compete against them for the few jobs in the same field.

  2. Rebecca Taylor

    In response to the comment by t above: EU students can study in the UK under the same conditions as British students i.e. they don’t pay the much higher foreign students fees which are charged to non EU students.

    So if universities were merely interested in maximising their income, they would push for more non EU students (who pay higher fees) and fewer EU students.

  3. Paul C

    I’d be interested to see an analysis of the impact of papers per unit investment via the UK research councils compared to via EU e.g Horizon 2020. My impression is that the RC investment is much more productive of papers, citations, or any reasonable measure. It would be much better to stop contributing to the EU and put the research money we save (which is ours after all) through the much more productive RC route.

    You say “If UK scientists really cared only about the money, shouldn’t they be demanding that the UK government pays them directly, rather than routing it through the EU middleman at a loss?”. Well, maybe they should – you certainly put a brief and cogent argument there! The answer as to why they don’t ask for this may be that the money would go to different scientists. May I humbly suggest more productive ones than the average beneficiary of H2020 funding.

  4. Paul C

    Hmmm… I once applied for some EU funding under project called Euminafab. One could get funding from this programme only on condition that the collaborator was from a different EU country. The best and most appropriate collaborator was from the UK, but I was not allowed to put in a proposal to work with them.

    Sorry folks – that’s not science. That’s an attempt to build a country called Europe (mis)using our hard-earned taxes to do it.

  5. Paul C

    I never thought of it until seeing this video but the person in our department who bangs-on the most about the need to stay in the EU is indeed the one that gets the most EU funding. “cui bono” is a good thing to keep asking as June 23rd approaches.

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