Scotland’s university leaders have faced a difficult political climate during the referendum campaign, which resulted in today’s announcement of a win for the ‘No’ campaign, meaning Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom.
It emerged this week that Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, had pressed the University of St Andrews principal, Louise Richardson, to tone down remarks she made about the potential impact of independence on research funding.
Pete Downes, the convener of Universities Scotland and principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Dundee, said in a statement issued today: “The electorate has made its choice and we fully respect the decision they have made for Scotland’s future.
“The university sector is proud to be rooted firmly in Scotland and to be a central part of the nation’s economic, social and cultural wellbeing. Universities are ambitious for Scotland’s success under any constitutional settlement, and we intend to continue to compete amongst the world’s best for our teaching, our research and the attraction of talent.
“We do not believe in standing still, nor do we see the outcome of this referendum in those terms. We will continue to work closely with the Scottish and UK governments to secure the best possible funding and policy environment for our higher education institutions, in the interests of Scotland’s success.”