Category: Local Community
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union to be held on Thursday 23 June. Since exiting Europe will affect thousands of our students, our Students Union like NUS and other Unions should campaign for the UK to stay in Europe?
I don't think it's very appropriate for the university to take such a black and white stands on the issue. Some students could very well want to leave the EU and campaigning to remain in as an organization doesn't represent those views.
Yes definitely get on the pro-EU bandwagon. The University of Salford is pro-EU our Students’ Union should be as well. I think it would be great for the Students' Union to take a positive pro-EU stance in the referendum. International students have been kicked enough and I wouldn't want what has happened to international students to also happen to EU students as well. There are so many great programmes and initiatives with students across the Europe such as ERASMUS that has been brought by being a member of EU. (http://www.erasmusprogramme.com/) There are so many benefits for students and universities to remaining in the EU it's not surprising that they have come out in support of the EU - especially when it comes to science and innovation. The fact that the University of Salford has already taken a pro-EU stance as part of UUK means that it's already stolen a march on our Students' Union. (http://www.universitiesforeurope.com/) To quote a statement signed by our own Vice-Chancellor Helen Marshall: "Brexit will cost universities valuable education alliances NOW the prime minister has announced the referendum date, we urge the British public to consider the vital role the EU plays in supporting our world-class universities. Inside the EU we are better able to collaborate with partners across Europe to carry out cutting-edge research, from medical and healthcare advances to new materials, products and services. In the EU the UK is also a more attractive destination for global talent, ensuring that our students are taught by the best minds from across Europe. This has a direct impact on our economy, driving growth, generating jobs and improving people’s lives. While no one is suggesting that UK universities could not survive outside the EU, leaving would mean cutting ourselves off from established networks and would undermine the UK’s position as a global leader in science and the arts. Throughout the referendum campaign, as university leaders we are committed to highlighting the value of EU membership to our universities, ensuring that a range of views are heard on campuses and debating why the EU matters now and for the future."(http://www.glos.ac.uk/news/Pages/brexit-cost-universities-alliances.aspx) "Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the EU referendum will be held in June, university leaders in the UK have underlined their strong support for continued membership of the European Union." (http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/highereducation/Pages/UniversityleadersvoicesupportforEUmembership.aspx#.Vv0AlPkrJhF)
The NUS and SU takes a stance on many, many issues and as it is a lobbying organisation for students it is right that it should do so on this matter.. I am sure it is well placed to analyse the issues regarding EU membership as they relate to specific and pertinent implications for students, universiities and the SU and be able to formulate its position from this. My personal view is, on balance, it will find in favour of membership. It is too important for the SU NOT to have a position on this based on evidence and majority opinion of its members.