Hayes calls for national ‘fourth level’ forum to address Brexit
Irish & UK universities need reciprocal deal to keep researchers crossing the Irish Sea
Fine Gael MEP, Brian Hayes, has today (Friday) called for a national ‘forth level’ forum to address the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit to fourth level research in Ireland. Over 30 bodies including HEI’s, State agencies and departments hold responsibility for research in Ireland. Brexit could result in lost funding and severed links with UK universities. The MEP for Dublin suggested new reciprocal deals between Irish and UK universities to keep researchers crossing the Irish Sea.
“Research in Ireland needs a single voice to address the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit. There are a plethora of Government departments, state agencies, institutions and bodies responsible. Societal, commercial and governmental priorities are also involved. As it stands there is no clear message about where Irish research will stand post Brexit.
“We need a national ‘fourth level’ forum to develop and set out a clear message to Europe about our potential.
“Many existing and longstanding research ties between universities either side of the Irish Sea could be broken when Britain leaves the EU. As an English speaking country in the EU we could also stand to attract research that once flocked to the UK. Research is global, a clear message about how our research community will address Brexit must come from colleges, State agencies and departments.
“UK and Irish Universities must work closer together, not drift apart. Already UK universities are being discounted for joint EU research grant applications because of Brexit. As it stands the Irish Universities Association (IUA) does a good job attracting and facilitating researchers from outside the EU to study in Ireland. The knowledge and skillset already exists to make it easier to research in Ireland.
“Irish and UK universities must step up, rather than walk away from their existing ties. As a first step I’m suggesting reciprocal, cost neutral arrangements between Irish and UK universities to maintain students crossing the Irish Sea,” concluded MEP Hayes