It is a year since the now-familiar “pockets of excellence” were identified by the 2008 research assessment exercise in universities traditionally considered to be teaching-focused.
Despite their often shoestring budgets, these units have shaken up the established order, reversing the trend of concentrating funding in an ever smaller number of top institutions. As a result of the wider spread of resources, the research-intensive universities have seen their share of quality-related (QR) research funding fall by about 4 per cent.
But beyond the fuming of the elite and the battle raging over the UK’s policy on research concentration, there is another story.
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