Edinburgh University reveals EU opinion

Professor Timothy O'Shea

Professor Timothy O'Shea

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Edinburgh University is thought to be the first higher education institution in Scotland to publicly back staying in the European Union (EU) in the run-up to June’s referendum.

In a joint open letter, university principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea and Jonny Ross-Tatam, president of the student association, argued the UK’s place in the EU brings “many benefits” to the university.

They wrote the letter because they say they “are committed to raising awareness of the debate, and the issues at stake, among our 50,000 staff and students”.

Some of the main benefits cited in the letter include the estimated £45 million the university receives in research funding from the EU.

A spokesman for the Scotland Stronger in Europe campaign said: “This is a very welcome intervention in the referendum debate, confirming that the facts support staying in the European Union.

“The academic research funding and collaboration supported by the EU, and freedom of movement and study, is good for the Scottish economy and good for young people.”