We are delighted with the interest our research has generated, but in our original paper (in the International Journal of Business Performance Management) we did not conclude that the financial tactics of the Russell Group may not make long-term business sense. We suggested that "the higher gearing of the Higher Education Funding Council for England 'R' grant found in the Russell Group may indicate that income from other sources is being used to fund research-active staff in pursuit of external research income".
The reference to the sector being in financial dire straits is borne out by the operational efficiency figures, where many universities are operating at a loss or barely breaking even.
Mike Simpson and Jeff Pursglove
University of Sheffield