Don’t call Nurse

December 17, 2015

The transfer of quality-related research funding to Research UK is neither as straightforward nor as desirable as suggested in the article “Nurse review offers broad-spectrum remedy for UK research funding” (Opinion, 3 December). QR funding serves an entirely different function from that of research council grants and has been protected from direct ministerial intervention as a result of its delivery by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the statutory framework provided by the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

No one should turn their back on the merit of such a framework, either in respect of residual teaching grant, QR funding or the oversight over the sector that the new Office for Students will need to exercise. Those who have a foot in the research camp only may not appreciate the connectivity between teaching and research or the finer points of the quality assurance regime that encompasses research and teaching activity.

It would be remiss of ministers to think that the future delivery and funding of QR can be decided on the back of a review that neither included this issue in its terms of reference nor sought evidence on the same.

Pam Tatlow
Chief executive, Million+

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