Thursday 5 November 2009

Mandelson: the Future is in 'Concentrating Research Funding'

Business secretary Peter Mandelson has launched a new framework for Higher Education. Entitled 'Higher Ambitions,' the report focuses mainly on the needs of students. However, research does come up, and the framework emphasises that BIS wants to :

  • 'Sustain our world class research base by continuing to focus on excellence, concentrating research funding where needed to secure critical mass and impact; and

  • Encourage collaboration between universities on world class research, especially in high cost science.'
'Concentrating research funding'. Hmm. That gets alarm bells ringing, and seems to go counter to the thrust of the last RAE which was to reward excellent research wherever it was found. Not surpisingly, the Russell Group are crowing. “Only by concentrating resources can we ensure that Britain retains world-class universities which are international partners of choice for students, researchers and business,” said Wendy Piatt, director general of the group, quoted in ResearchResearch.
More information on the report is available on the BIS site here.

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