Equipment grant safe

June 14, 1996

Kam Patel's report (THES, June 7) raised several important issues about the difficulties of investing in research equipment. However, I was surprised to read the comments attributed to Mike Hunter of Edinburgh University that funds for equipment "will be further hit by the 30 per cent cut in capital allocation announced in the last budget".

The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council does not receive separate allocations for capital and recurrent funding from Government. Its resources for the academic year 1996/97 were reduced by 6 per cent in real terms in the last budget, but there was no such cut in its equipment grant. The council protected the funding of teaching and research by cutting the amount for initiatives and new capital projects. The equipment grant for 1996/97 was maintained.

John Sizer Chief executive of SHEFC.

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