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January 24, 2008

Several recent issues have covered the topic of business-facing universities, and last week was no exception ("Diversity challenge", 17 January). One indicator of how successful higher education institutions are in this res pect can be derived from the business-research element (BRE) of research funding. This was introduced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England last year based on research income from business. I have calculated the business-research element per full-time equivalent staff member for UK higher education institutions using data from Hefce and the Higher Education Statistics Agency, and the institution used in Times Higher Education as an example of a business-facing university is a long way from the top of this list.

THE TOP TEN INSTITUTION/BRE per FTE academic staff (£)

Cranfield University: 6,096

School of Pharmacy, University of London: 2,588

London Business School: 2,529

Imperial College: 2,207

Royal Veterinary College: 1,636

University of Cambridge: 1,568

Harper Adams University College: 1,469

University of Nottingham: 1,380

St George's Hospital Medical School: 1,315

King's College London: 1,309

It would be interesting if future articles on this topic could give an insight into the success of the institutions at the top of this table.


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