Research Fortnight has run a piece on the grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England – the letter confirms that quality-related (QR) funding will be maintained in 2015-16 but has sparked speculation about whether the funding will end up being further concentrated in a smaller number of elite institutions. Our response to this issue appeared in the story.
The University Alliance group of business-focused universities also welcomed the announcement that 3* research would continue to be funded. Maddalaine Ansell, chief executive of University Alliance, said in a statement to Research Fortnight that funding excellence wherever it is found “is a very important principle as it allows the UK to maximise the impact of limited public monies”.
Ansell also says that the alliance was pleased that the grant letter recognises that the Higher Education Innovation Fund [which is allocated for knowledge exchange activities] delivers an excellent return on investment. However, she is calling for the fund to be increased to £250m for 2015-16 from the £113m announced in the grant letter, in line with a recommendation in the 2013 Andrew Witty report on innovation.
Read our blog post here to find out what we welcome in this year’s Grant Letter and what more we want from policy-makers to secure a successful university sector and Britain’s economic prospects.