Increase in research budgets welcomed by Russell Group
05 March 2007
The Russell Group of Universities has welcomed news in today’s Budget statement (21 March 2007) that will see a 25 per cent increase in public investment in science budgets from £5 billion to £6.3 billion by 2010-11.
Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of The Russell Group, said: “This is excellent news which should help ensure a green-light for numerous important UK research projects.
"This announcement sends a clear and positive signal about the UK’s commitment to world class research and development, and will be welcomed by higher education institutions up and down the country.
"We look forward to discussing further the details of this announcement. The Chancellor has responded positively to universities’ determination to boost the nation’s research effort which is essential to help the UK meet the challenges of the 21st century."
Chairman of the Russell Group Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of University College, London, added: "The Government's funding has placed the United Kingdom at the forefront of pioneering new technology. Most recently this funding has allowed for breakthroughs at Russell Group Universities in discoveries of new hydrogen energy, genetic mapping of Alzheimer’s disease and new discoveries of the use of nanotechnology for cellular biology, to name a few.
"Today’s announcement reflects the continued need for such advances and reflects the desire to keep the United Kingdom at the cutting edge of innovation on the international stage."
1. The purpose of the Russell Group is to provide thought leadership and strategic direction for the 20 major research intensive universities of the UK; we aim to ensure that policy development in a wide range of issues relating to higher education is underpinned by a robust evidence base and a commitment to civic responsibility, improving life chances, raising aspirations and contributing to economic prosperity and innovation.
2. Formed in 1994 at a meeting convened in the Hotel Russell, London, the Group is composed of the Vice-Chancellors/Principals of the Universities listed opposite. In 2004/5, Russell Group Universities accounted for 65% (over £1.8billion) of UK Universities' research grant and contract income, 56% of all doctorates awarded in the United Kingdom, and over 30% of all students studying in the United Kingdom from outside the EU. In the 2001 national Research Assessment Exercise, 78% of the staff in Grade 5* departments and 57% of the staff in Grade 5 departments were located in Russell Group Universities, and in 2004/5 Russell Group Universities were allocated approximately 64% of the total quality-related research funding (QR) allocated by the Funding Councils.