McBoo-hoo to you

December 21, 2007

Your report of the Dundee study that suggests that Wales was not "competing equally" in the 2001 research assessment exercise ("Wales saved from £14m funding hole", December 14) strikes a surprisingly out-of-touch note, not least because it emanates from Scotland. In fact, exactly the same RAE process ran across the entire UK, as it will also do this time. What differed was the use made of the results to inform research funding policy.

Funding policy also differs for teaching and third mission. So, too, does overall funding provision, according to the budgetary position and priorities of the various UK administrations.

Since the point of devolution is precisely to enable priorities to be set according to local needs, these variations are entirely legitimate, and to be expected. Vive la difference, as we say in Wales.

Philip Gummett, Chief Executive, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

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