UKIP has warned today of the threat of the EU 'subverting' British education as Universities UK comes out against the UK leaving the European Union.
Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall, a former university lecturer, has also highlighted the role of Monnet Professors, academics selected and funded by the EU to promote EU integration. He argues that the payment of university teaching staff to promote EU ideals in European Universities amounts to the erosion of academic independence via a form of paid for propaganda.
"To learn that one and a half thousand academics around the world are being paid by the EU to promote EU integration is deeply concerning and akin to the sort of deliberate indoctrination one would expect in Cold War Communism, not in the twenty first century western world.
"Universities UK is a registered charity and is almost entirely state funded. It is therefore heavily regulated against engaging in impartial political activity like this. Universities UK should represent the interests of British education and not embroil itself in a political debate that has seen people denied any democratic say whatsoever on how Britain should be governed for the past 40 years. It will be interesting to learn how many of Universities UK's representatives are also receiving direct funding from Brussels.
"Today I have written an open letter to the BBC warning them against using Monnet Professors as supposed impartial speakers on the EU, and during the course of the day UKIP be publicising when this has already happened in a series of striking Twitter revelations.
"It is only right that the British public are made aware of this grotesque undermining of the UK further education system and it's about time that UK press simply 'followed the money'."
UKIP South West MEP Julia Reid added: “Education is the process of facilitating learning, knowledge and skills. It is not about propagating propaganda and spin.
“Universities UK says it wants to be a positive voice but how can it be positive for the UK to be shackled by EU red tape that prevents us negotiating our own free trade deals as a sovereign nation. The UK should be free to trade with the world and not be dictated to through negative interference and control from the EU.
“I do not think pro-EU propaganda belongs in our universities which should concentrate on delivering open-minded learning.”