Spanish supposition

January 7, 2016

Jamie Martin’s pro-Brexit piece made me cringe at the contradictory nature of the arguments proposed (“Academics must face EU’s ‘inconvenient truth’ ”, Opinion, 24/31 December). While the European Union is accused of having an “anti-science culture” at the start of the piece, by the end Martin admits that “Horizon 2020 money could amount to a fifth of the UK science budget”. Also, the irony is lost at the criticism of EU immigration policies in the face of the UK government’s tougher rules on international students’ visas, not to speak of the characterisation of EU institutions as “outdated” from the perspective of a country in which royal pomp and medieval traditions are key marks of national identity.

What I found particularly disturbing, however, were the negative examples of an “unskilled Spaniard” or “the least qualified Italian student” as the unworthy beneficiaries of the current EU immigration policies. Such examples are not only indicative of prejudicial attitudes towards Southern European citizens, but also ignore the fact that, as Neil Carmichael points out, “15 per cent of all academic staff at our universities are from EU countries” (“Why leaving the EU would be damaging for UK higher education”, Opinion, 11 December). I won’t speculate on how many are from Southern Europe; in the end it does not and it should not matter.

Anna Notaro
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
University of Dundee
@Notanna1


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com

Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday. View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands