LibDems' research plan

The research selectivity exercise should be scrapped and replaced with a new share-the-wealth formula for research funding, suggests Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman.

A big proportion of the hundreds of millions of pounds distributed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England on the basis of research ratings should instead be allocated more evenly in support of teaching and teaching-related research, Mr Foster told the Parliamentary University Group.

The rest of the money could be ploughed into the research councils to increase the number and range of projects they fund, and into other more general support areas such as student main-tenance.

Mr Foster floated his radical scheme in an effort to address what he saw as serious inequities in the current research selectivity formula. He condemned the research rating system for producing an imbalance in the sector between an elite group of old universities which received the bulk of the money, and the rest which had to make do with sometimes "bizarre" allocations of as little as Pounds . Private money for research tended to follow public sector investment.

"It seems to me that the present system is setting up some big problems for the future if we believe there is any link at all between the quality of teaching and research," he said.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Universities to scale back liberal arts and social science courses

  • David Humphries illustration (24 September 2015)

A Russell Group tagline rap is further proof that we need to reform the academy’s approach, argues Philip Moriarty

  • World University Rankings

US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game

  • World University Rankings 2015-2016 methodology

Change for the better: fuelled by more comprehensive data, the 2015-2016 rankings probe deeper than ever

  • protest, street, march

Even in the academy, your class background will always be a factor in how you are seen, says LSE’s Lisa Mckenzie