Lewis Wood, the Students’ Association president, has led the student presidents of 16 other Scottish universities in signing a letter addressing Brexit concerns.
Their letter has been sent to Prime Minister Theresa May and David Davis MP, Secretary of State for the Exiting of the European Union.
The letter has been written to represent the interests of students in Scotland, as they point out higher education has been dangerously ignored in the negotiations.
The three priorities laid out in the letter are: continued participation in the Erasmus student exchange scheme, a protected mobility between Europe and the UK, and sustained levels of research funding.
If these properties are not addressed, Mr Wood has stated that they will “call for an urgent re-evaluation of the process to examine whether Brexit really is in the national interest.”
The letter states, “We demand that a deal is formed that protects our respective institutions, the diversity of our student populations, and the longevity of our HE sector.”
Mr Wood said, “This strongly worded letter captures the sentiment of students across Scotland.
“The majority of St Andrews students are undoubtedly pro-remain, this letter confirms that this is the sentiment amongst close to the entire student population of Scotland.
“Government must ensure that student voices are being listened to and prioritise these demands in Brexit negotiations.
“‘No Deal’ is not an option for us, and disrespects all those who voted to remain within the EU.
“We demand that a deal is formed that protects our respective institutions, the diversity of our student populations, and the longevity of our HE sector.
“Without this, we call for an urgent re-evaluation of the process to examine whether Brexit really is in the national interest.”
The letter also states higher education has been “dangerously sidelined” in Brexit negotiations and has been signed by presidents of all the ancient universities of Scotland.
Catriona Forsythe, a St Andrews student from the Scottish Highlands, feels that the priorities laid out are paramount.
Ms Forsythe stated, “I worry that [Brexit] will decrease diversity of our university if tuition fees were to be introduced to EU students.”
Similarly, another student, Phoebe Hyde, has the same concern.
She also said, “The one thing that I really hate about Brexit is the image that we have sent to the rest of the EU – unwelcoming and ungrateful.”
Ms Hyde stated that she is just as concerned now as she was during the election.
The letter concludes, “The nation voted to leave the European Union, but they did not vote to suppress an education sector that contributes to the pursuit of knowledge, the personal development of our people, and the economic stability of our country.”