Frequently Asked Questions - Will independence weaken university research in Scotland?
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No. We will seek to continue the current common research area arrangements and funding through the existing research councils. And while the UK will remain an important research partner, Scotland can also build on the significant successes achieved in working across European boundaries by hosting international research centres who are increasingly attracted to Scotland by the quality of our research base. The current Scottish Government supports the European Commission in its ambition for “a reinforced European research area partnership for excellence and growth” with researchers, research institutions and businesses moving, competing and co-operating across borders more intensively.
Levels of public investment in university research will be sufficient to enable our researchers and universities to remain internationally competitive with current levels of public investment in university research, through the Scottish Funding Council and Research Councils, at least maintained as part of wider and longer term plans to enhance levels of investment in research and development in Scotland from the private sector and other sources.
The present Scottish Government also intends to use the powers of independence to address one of the biggest threats to research in Scotland as a result of the policies of the current Westminster Government. We plan to reintroduce the poststudy work visa, which was abolished by Westminster in April 2012. This visa will encourage more talented people from around the world to further their education in Scotland, providing income for Scotland’s institutions and contributing to a growing economy.
Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.