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The importance of the EU to UK universities

EVERY Minister for Universities and Science for the last 25 years has today signed this letter to the Times explaining the importance of the EU to UK universities.

Full text and list of signatories:

"Sir, As current and former ministers for universities and science we have seen first-hand the vital role the EU plays in ensuring the UK’s world-class universities remain at the cutting edge of knowledge and research.

Many of the challenges that face us today are global, from tackling climate change to fighting cancer and developing new energy sources. The EU supports British universities to collaborate with the best minds from across Europe and beyond to carry out pioneering research that improves people’s lives. The EU also reduces the barriers and bureaucracy associated with bringing together people from different countries, and means researchers can pool their knowledge and resources.

More than 60 per cent of our international research partners are from other EU countries. Free movement of people makes it easier for our universities to attract the brightest and best students and researchers from across Europe. Fifteen per cent of academic staff at British universities are from other EU countries, along with more than 125,000 students. A vote to leave the EU would weaken our universities and lessen their positive impact.

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science 2015 -

Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities 2014-15

Lord Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science 2010-14

Sir Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2010-15

Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2009-10

David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property 2008-10

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills 2007-09

Bill Rammell, Minister of State for Higher Education 2005-08

Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, 2006-2007

Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for Education and Skills 2002-04

Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science and Innovation 1998-2006

Ian Taylor, Minister of State for Science and Technology 1994-97

Kenneth Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Education and Science 1990-92