Scotland’s academics leaning towards no vote, survey reveals

Sep 11, 2014 by

Times Higher Education magazine poll finds 54.8% of university staff will vote no to independence, compared with 41.2% for yes

The no campaign has a sizable 13-point lead over the Scottish independence yes camp among academics, according to a poll of university workers.

The survey, conducted by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, found that the majority of those working at Scotland‘s universities believe that remaining part of the UK would be better for the nation’s higher education system.

More than 1,000 academics and administrators took part in the poll, with over half (54.8%) indicating they intend to vote no and 41.2% intending to vote yes on 18 September. The rest were not sure.

The survey also found that around 55% of those questioned think that staying with the UK would be the best result for Scottish universities, with 30.2% saying independence would be better for Scotland’s higher education.

The rest thought the result of the referendum would make no difference to Scottish universities, or were not sure, the THE said.

Prof Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, said: “This is a remarkable study which confirms that the overwhelming view of university experts is that the best and brightest future for our world-class universities is as part of the UK. This means more opportunities for our young people and generations to come.

“With just days to go until we make the most important decision in Scotland’s history, we still don’t know how our world-class universities would be paid for. This is a risk we just don’t have to take. To settle for less than being a global leader in education is selling Scotland short and that is why we should say ‘no thanks’ to separation.”

In a statement on its website, Academics for Yes counters that Scottish universities will be invigorated by independence. “Scotland as a society is rightly renowned for its creative, innovative and inventive capacities. Tertiary education plays a core role here, working to enhance peoples’ lives and understanding in so many different ways, both locally and internationally. Independence thus offers the chance to reinvigorate and renew that ambition,” the statement says.

The online survey questioned 1,058 Scottish university workers between 7 and 26 August.

via Scotland’s academics leaning towards no vote, survey reveals | Politics |

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