Migration Watch distort UCL research

planeSam Ashworth-Hayes, journalist at InFacts, highlights how a recent report by Migration Watch misrepresents research findings from UCL academics on the fiscal effects of immigration to the UK by EEA citizens.

Given the focus the Leave campaign is putting on immigration, it is unsurprising that a report from Migration Watch purporting to show that immigrants from the European Economic Area* (EEA) are a drain on the public purse has grabbed the imagination of the eurosceptic press.

In a paper it says “extends” research from University College London, the anti-immigration pressure group says the Treasury spent more in 2014/15 on public services for recent EEA immigrants than they paid in taxes. The original research found that EEA immigrants in the UK paid made a positive contribution of more than £4 billion between 1995 and 2011. Continue reading

Brexit – What should universities do in the run up to the referendum?

michael-arthur-3Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, speaks up in support for UK membership of the EU, highlighting the potentially harmful effects an exit could have on the UK’s Higher Education sector. Writing in a personal capacity, he reflects on the role that universities, and their Vice-Chancellors, should take in the referendum debate. Moreover, he argues that a ‘no’ vote would not only lead to a significant loss of research funding and risk diminishing the diversity of staff and students, but also to a loss of impact in setting the global research agenda.

With Prime Minister David Cameron’s draft EU reform deal on the table, current speculation is that the referendum vote could happen as early as June this year. A good time therefore to put fingers to keyboard and to express my personal view about what universities should (or perhaps should not) do as the debate intensifies.

As many will be aware, UCL hosted a launch event for UUK, during which this collective sector-wide body expressed a view that it would be very bad for UK Higher Education if we were to leave the European Union. It was a one-sided launch event and was never intended to be anything else, but nevertheless it attracted criticism, and was contrasted with the silent approach taken by Scottish universities during the referendum on independence for Scotland. Continue reading