Tomorrow, the broad principles determining what funding universities receive next year will be set. The final allocations for university funding in 2009-10 are not due until 4 March, but vice-chancellors are already lobbying for their financial futures.
Around £1.5bn a year in research funding is at stake as officials at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) work out what money will follow December’s research assessment exercise (RAE). The national project to judge the quality of British research revealed a much wider spread of top researchers than before. With over half the research (54%) submitted in 2008 deemed to be either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) – and found in 150 of 159 universities – the funding that follows will inevitably be more thinly spread.
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