Funding for large-scale science projects

11 March 2014

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome David Willetts announcement - all investment in UK science is good news for our universities and for the country as a whole. It is vital that the UK invests in these kinds of facilities so that our scientists can carry out the cutting-edge research which drives economic growth.

“However, it is important to bear in mind that UK public spending on higher education and research remains on a par with Slovakia and Chile – and trails far behind competitors like the US and China. Our universities are having to do more with less because of the flat cash settlement for research funding which has been in place since 2010. Supporting early-career researchers and postgraduates, investing in science teaching at our universities are also important if the UK is to maintain its impressive scientific output in the long-term.

“Researchers at our institutions are already hard at work preparing the groundwork for these colossal global projects, and many more will be involved in the future.”

Notes to Editors

  1. According to the OECD report Education at a Glance, the UK’s total investment in higher education is 1.4% of GDP: half that of the USA, and below the OECD average. UK public investment in higher education is 0.7% of GDP, below the OECD and EU 21 averages, lower than Brazil, Russia or any Western European country for which data was available. It is on a par with Slovakia and Chile. Read more in the full report:
  2. Read our policy report Jewels in the Crown: the importance and characteristics of the UK’s world-class universities

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