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University Alliance urges careful investment of limited public funds for 2011-12 and beyond

Responding to the Government’s Grant letter to HEFCE outlining funding for 2011-12, published on 20 December 2010, Libby Aston, Director of University Alliance, said:

“Nobody likes cuts but we appreciate efforts to protect university funding in a year of significant transition for the sector. The focus now must be on ensuring that the limited public funds available are invested to the best possible effect and that the sector is supported as it prepares for greater change from 2012-13. HEFCE are absolutely best placed to achieve these aims.

“With a reduction in research funding it is more important than ever that we fund research on the basis of excellence wherever it is found and we support the commitment to this principle in the grant letter.  Funding research based on excellence will achieve concentration of funding where quality exists and is fundamental as a basis of our system.

“Alliance universities are committed to providing the best possible experience for their students and will continue to pursue this even in times of constrained public investment.

“We welcome the early release of indicative figures for the remaining years of the spending review period.  It is essential that we identify the correct balance of contribution between the individual and the state in the forthcoming White Paper on Higher Education. This underlying principle will have significant consequences for the future of our world-class public higher education system and must not be submerged by the immediate crisis in the public finances.”

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Notes for editors:

About the Alliance:

University Alliance represents 23 major, business-focussed universities at the heart of the sector delivering world-leading research with impact.Alliance universities educate over 26% of all UK students and achieve some of the highest graduate-level employment rates. Alliance universities offer a research- informed, academic learning environment and a culture of innovation and enterprise, equipping graduates who will help deliver growth to the UK economy. Our universities maintain a revolving door with business to help ensure graduate employers get innovative and thoughtful, professionally accredited graduates with the right skills to help grow their businesses.

Alliance universities:

Aberystwyth University, Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Huddersfield, University of Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, Open University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Plymouth, University of Portsmouth, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University, Teesside University, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.

For further information, please contact Sam Jones at the University Alliance office on 07767 673 982 or email sjones@unialliance.ac.uk.

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