Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bear Sh*ts in Woods Shock!

Pope: Catholic, apparently.
Well, you may have noticed that things have been somewhat quiet over at Fundermentals Towers. Yes, I've been away, furiously eating Easter eggs and huddling by an electric fire to keep warm.

I returned this week and found a great story to kick start a new season of blogging. On 5 April Research Fortnight reported that BIS had published a report that concluded that 'the richest universities take the lion's share under dual support'.

This must rank, for news worthiness, along side the recent discovery of the Pope's Catholicism. Yes, the biggest, most research intensive universities really do get most of the government's research funding. What are they going to discover next? That knowing more about stuff makes you cleverer? That drinking coffee makes you jittery? That dogs bark and cats miaow? That the 1994 Group lacks direction?

I guess what does make it interesting is the scale of concentration, and what that bodes for the future. The top 10% of universities (in terms of income) get 64% of the Research Councils' funding. The second 10% get 20%, the next 10%, the next 4%, until you get to the final 40% of universities which get nothing. Interestingly, this distribution has altered little over the last decade, which calls into question the belief that RCUK are moving to concentrate their funding on the big hitters.

So I shouldn't be so scathing. There's gold in there, but you just have to dig for it.

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