Brexit: Impact on Universities and Scientific Research - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 3rd November 2016.

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Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for Education) (Higher Education) 2:45 pm, 3rd November 2016

It is a question that has been raised in the debate. I cannot give any further reassurances on that, but I and other Ministers have laid out exactly where we are at the moment. Clearly, discussions are under way. I am sure all will become clear.

I listened carefully to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Broers, about innovation. He is right to distinguish between curiosity, or pure research, and research-linked productivity and industry. We will discuss these important matters when we discuss the Higher Education and Research Bill.

The Chancellor also confirmed that structural and investment fund projects signed before the UK departs the EU will also be guaranteed by the Treasury after we leave. Funding for structural and investment projects will be honoured by the Treasury, so long as they meet the value-for-money criteria and are in line with domestic strategic priorities.

To reassure EU students planning to come to study in the UK, we have announced that the rules regarding the student loans that EU nationals receive from the Student Loans Company are unchanged and remain in force. Therefore, current EU students and those starting courses in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years who are eligible for student support will continue to be able to access this support for the duration of their course, even if this continues after we have left the EU. Student Finance England will assess these applications against existing eligibility criteria, and will provide support in the normal way.