Post-92s gain research funding at expense of ‘golden triangle’

Modern institutions get millions more in quality-related grants, in first allocations to use 2021 REF results

August 4, 2022
UCL
Source: iStock/peterspiro

Institutions in the “golden triangle” and members of the Russell Group have seen a drop in their overall share of quality-related grant funding in England, while several post-92 universities have performed strongly in the first allocations to use the results of the latest Research Excellence Framework.

In the grants for 2022-23, announced by Research England on 4 August, Northumbria University’s QR funding increased from just under £7 million last year to more than £18 million in total. This represented the biggest increase for any institution in terms of overall QR “market share”, with Northumbria netting 0.93 per cent of the total pot, up 0.5 percentage points, reflecting the institution’s strong performance in the REF.

Other modern institutions also receive big increases in funding, with Manchester Metropolitan University getting an extra £6 million – a 92 per cent increase – which meant it improved its market share by 0.24 percentage points to 0.65 per cent.

Among other institutions increasing their market share by more than 0.1 per cent, adding millions to their research budgets, are Bournemouth, Coventry, Kingston, Huddersfield and Nottingham Trent universities, alongside the universities of Brighton, Essex, Greenwich, Hertfordshire, Lincoln and Portsmouth.

The allocations are seen as reflecting in part the redrawn methodology of the 2021 REF, under which all staff with “significant responsibility” for research had to be entered, severely curtailing institutions’ ability to select which academics participated and reducing the number of outputs per scholar that had to be submitted. The reduction in selectivity is perceived to have resulted in recognition for pockets of research excellence that may have been overlooked in the past.

Golden triangle institutions and their Russell Group peers will still get the largest grants, with the funding allocations reflecting institutional scale as well as REF performance. The funding formula continues to take account only of research rated 4* and 3* in the REF, with the former given quadruple weighting.

And most institutions generally enjoy an increase in their funding because of a 10 per cent increase in Research England’s total QR budget pot to £1.97 billion.

But those in the golden triangle will get less as a percentage of the overall amount, with the broader spread of funding meaning that modern universities’ gains generally came at the expense of the Russell Group.

Research powerhouse UCL is the biggest loser on this measure. While it will receive a 10 per cent increase in its budget, bringing in a total of £160 million – the second highest after the University of Oxford’s £164 million – its market share decreases from 8.93 per cent to 8.06 per cent.

Similarly, the University of Cambridge’s market share is down by 0.61 percentage points while Oxford’s drops 0.57 percentage points. King’s College London sees a decline of 0.21 percentage points, while Imperial College London fares the best of the institutions considered part of the golden triangle, with only a 0.06 percentage point fall.

It means that overall the golden triangle’s total share of the QR budget has fallen from 35.36 per cent to 33.05 per cent.

For the Russell Group’s 21 English members, the overall share of funding declined 2.71 percentage points, dropping below 70 per cent to 68.21 per cent.

The University of Exeter bucked the trend among the elite institutions and added 0.26 percentage points to its market share, one of the biggest increases overall, while the universities of Liverpool and York also performed strongly. The University of Southampton will lose 0.35 percentage points of market share while Nottingham loses a quarter of a percentage point.

The London School of Economics will receive less funding in 2022-23 compared with 2021-22 – despite the overall budget increase – with a drop in its QR funding from £18.4 million to £16.7 million.

The Universities of Bedfordshire and Bolton will also see budgets decrease alongside some specialist institutions such as the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Royal Academy of Music.

David Sweeney, the departing executive chair of Research England, said it was “good to see universities of very different kinds across the country doing well in a research assessment that captures quality of very different kinds”.

He said the organisation’s allocations “recognise the strength, depth and breadth of the English HE sector and this funding aims to ensure continued contribution from universities in England to delivering benefits for all”.

tom.williams@timeshighereducation.com

Institution QR funding 2021-22 QR funding 2022-23 Change (£) Change (%) Market share 2021-22 Market share 2022-23 Market share change (%)
AECC University College 965 23888 22,923 2375.44% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Anglia Ruskin University 2,450,072 3860855 1,410,783 57.58% 0.15% 0.20% 0.05%
Arts University Bournemouth 128,081 417611 289,530 226.05% 0.01% 0.02% 0.01%
University of the Arts London 3,563,444 4335402 771,958 21.66% 0.22% 0.22% 0.00%
Aston University 6,392,761 8457238 2,064,477 32.29% 0.39% 0.43% 0.04%
University of Bath 18,265,878 23316168 5,050,290 27.65% 1.12% 1.18% 0.06%
Bath Spa University 1,131,875 1764439 632,564 55.89% 0.07% 0.09% 0.02%
University of Bedfordshire 2,358,455 1553051 -805,404 -34.15% 0.14% 0.08% -0.07%
Birkbeck College 9,894,291 11127786 1,233,495 12.47% 0.61% 0.56% -0.04%
University of Birmingham 42,204,659 54960074 12,755,415 30.22% 2.59% 2.78% 0.19%
Birmingham City University 2,469,790 4073944 1,604,154 64.95% 0.15% 0.21% 0.05%
Bishop Grosseteste University 83,198 223059 139,861 168.11% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01%
University of Bolton 543,386 509806 -33,580 -6.18% 0.03% 0.03% -0.01%
Bournemouth University 3,202,669 6380747 3,178,078 99.23% 0.20% 0.32% 0.13%
University of Bradford 3,821,060 3882135 61,075 1.60% 0.23% 0.20% -0.04%
University of Brighton 4,936,453 8257750 3,321,297 67.28% 0.30% 0.42% 0.12%
University of Bristol 48,678,040 58376775 9,698,735 19.92% 2.99% 2.96% -0.03%
Brunel University London 11,605,261 11381634 -223,627 -1.93% 0.71% 0.58% -0.14%
Buckinghamshire New University 230,500 226316 -4,184 -1.82% 0.01% 0.01% 0.00%
University of Cambridge 126,654,116 141466870 14,812,754 11.70% 7.78% 7.17% -0.61%
Canterbury Christ Church University 2,264,629 3375541 1,110,912 49.05% 0.14% 0.17% 0.03%
University of Central Lancashire 3,970,573 6578222 2,607,649 65.67% 0.24% 0.33% 0.09%
University of Chester 1,587,490 3136112 1,548,622 97.55% 0.10% 0.16% 0.06%
University of Chichester 902,049 986197 84,148 9.33% 0.06% 0.05% -0.01%
City, University of London 10,520,593 12016306 1,495,713 14.22% 0.65% 0.61% -0.04%
Courtauld Institute of Art 1,586,123 1173291 -412,832 -26.03% 0.10% 0.06% -0.04%
Coventry University 3,460,112 7257774 3,797,662 109.76% 0.21% 0.37% 0.16%
Cranfield University 10,028,309 12298553 2,270,244 22.64% 0.62% 0.62% 0.01%
University of Cumbria 268,151 390569 122,418 45.65% 0.02% 0.02% 0.00%
University for the Creative Arts 413,160 849812 436,652 105.69% 0.03% 0.04% 0.02%
University of Derby 1,005,945 2597036 1,591,091 158.17% 0.06% 0.13% 0.07%
De Montfort University 3,562,588 5808385 2,245,797 63.04% 0.22% 0.29% 0.08%
Durham University 25,066,127 28238298 3,172,171 12.66% 1.54% 1.43% -0.11%
University of East Anglia 17,703,096 23000016 5,296,920 29.92% 1.09% 1.17% 0.08%
University of East London 2,756,128 2775323 19,195 0.70% 0.17% 0.14% -0.03%
Edge Hill University 1,432,688 2710654 1,277,966 89.20% 0.09% 0.14% 0.05%
University of Essex 9,046,470 13576706 4,530,236 50.08% 0.56% 0.69% 0.13%
University of Exeter 25,602,986 36084099 10,481,113 40.94% 1.57% 1.83% 0.26%
Falmouth University 395,044 1265945 870,901 220.46% 0.02% 0.06% 0.04%
Goldsmiths, University of London 6,015,625 8232732 2,217,107 36.86% 0.37% 0.42% 0.05%
University of Gloucestershire 755,321 1330461 575,140 76.15% 0.05% 0.07% 0.02%
University of Greenwich 4,070,241 7274950 3,204,709 78.74% 0.25% 0.37% 0.12%
Guildhall School of Music and Drama 395,202 689316 294,114 74.42% 0.02% 0.03% 0.01%
Harper Adams University 488,475 740693 252,218 51.63% 0.03% 0.04% 0.01%
University of Hertfordshire 4,082,827 7149089 3,066,262 75.10% 0.25% 0.36% 0.11%
University of Huddersfield 5,508,637 9269797 3,761,160 68.28% 0.34% 0.47% 0.13%
University of Hull 7,536,925 8037925 501,000 6.65% 0.46% 0.41% -0.06%
Imperial College London 88,855,605 106456247 17,600,642 19.81% 5.45% 5.39% -0.06%
Institute of Cancer Research 15,217,102 16466645 1,249,543 8.21% 0.93% 0.83% -0.10%
Keele University  6,987,934 7543713 555,779 7.95% 0.43% 0.38% -0.05%
University of Kent 14,772,704 17768580 2,995,876 20.28% 0.91% 0.90% -0.01%
King's College London 70,324,564 81156148 10,831,584 15.40% 4.32% 4.11% -0.21%
Kingston University 3,436,411 6668240 3,231,829 94.05% 0.21% 0.34% 0.13%
Lancaster University 21,014,184 26585505 5,571,321 26.51% 1.29% 1.35% 0.06%
University of Leeds 44,217,258 53549986 9,332,728 21.11% 2.71% 2.71% 0.00%
Leeds Beckett University 2,608,536 4622078 2,013,542 77.19% 0.16% 0.23% 0.07%
Leeds Trinity University 119,935 269458 149,523 124.67% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01%
University of Leicester 19,389,466 21353410 1,963,944 10.13% 1.19% 1.08% -0.11%
University of Lincoln 3,797,169 7669865 3,872,696 101.99% 0.23% 0.39% 0.16%
University of Liverpool 29,936,932 39720332 9,783,400 32.68% 1.84% 2.01% 0.17%
Liverpool Hope University 993,003 1447548 454,545 45.77% 0.06% 0.07% 0.01%
Liverpool John Moores University 5,757,649 8726908 2,969,259 51.57% 0.35% 0.44% 0.09%
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 7,379,022 9309382 1,930,360 26.16% 0.45% 0.47% 0.02%
University of Manchester 71,264,177 87818253 16,554,076 23.23% 4.37% 4.45% 0.07%
University of Newcastle 34,550,944 42196054 7,645,110 22.13% 2.12% 2.14% 0.02%
University of Northampton 681,075 979897 298,822 43.88% 0.04% 0.05% 0.01%
University of Nottingham 49,575,759 55086580 5,510,821 11.12% 3.04% 2.79% -0.25%
London Business School 3,224,702 2442325 -782,377 -24.26% 0.20% 0.12% -0.07%
London Metropolitan University 1,169,465 1384336 214,871 18.37% 0.07% 0.07% 0.00%
London School of Economics and Political Science 18,413,948 16750361 -1,663,587 -9.03% 1.13% 0.85% -0.28%
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 19,567,886 22763705 3,195,819 16.33% 1.20% 1.15% -0.05%
London South Bank University 1,917,251 3059571 1,142,320 59.58% 0.12% 0.15% 0.04%
Loughborough University 17,753,518 21648859 3,895,341 21.94% 1.09% 1.10% 0.01%
Manchester Metropolitan University 6,631,857 12742160 6,110,303 92.14% 0.41% 0.65% 0.24%
Marjon University 2,504 136917 134,413 5367.93% 0.00% 0.01% 0.01%
Middlesex University 4,459,613 5229947 770,334 17.27% 0.27% 0.26% -0.01%
Newman University 177,676 262721 85,045 47.87% 0.01% 0.01% 0.00%
Northumbria University 6,968,593 18340918 11,372,325 163.19% 0.43% 0.93% 0.50%
Norwich University of the Arts 131,956 284211 152,255 115.38% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01%
Nottingham Trent University 5,213,304 8412336 3,199,032 61.36% 0.32% 0.43% 0.11%
University of Oxford 144,713,225 164197517 19,484,292 13.46% 8.88% 8.32% -0.57%
Oxford Brookes University 4,985,463 5749208 763,745 15.32% 0.31% 0.29% -0.01%
University of Plymouth 8,183,902 8910651 726,749 8.88% 0.50% 0.45% -0.05%
University of Portsmouth 6,020,928 10205778 4,184,850 69.51% 0.37% 0.52% 0.15%
Queen Mary University of London 33,975,407 42167146 8,191,739 24.11% 2.09% 2.14% 0.05%
University of Reading 18,150,994 18627574 476,580 2.63% 1.11% 0.94% -0.17%
Roehampton University 3,727,190 4853274 1,126,084 30.21% 0.23% 0.25% 0.02%
Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance 65,521 70985 5,464 8.34% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Royal Academy of Music 322,767 227762 -95,005 -29.43% 0.02% 0.01% -0.01%
Royal Agricultural University 52,140 249574 197,434 378.66% 0.00% 0.01% 0.01%
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama 681,770 1155396 473,626 69.47% 0.04% 0.06% 0.02%
Royal College of Art 2,200,321 2214726 14,405 0.65% 0.14% 0.11% -0.02%
Royal College of Music 451,612 505448 53,836 11.92% 0.03% 0.03% 0.00%
Royal Holloway, University of London 12,921,794 14338097 1,416,303 10.96% 0.79% 0.73% -0.07%
Royal Northern College of Music 354,249 350386 -3,863 -1.09% 0.02% 0.02% 0.00%
Royal Veterinary College 4,582,592 5941985 1,359,393 29.66% 0.28% 0.30% 0.02%
University of Salford 3,987,483 5719634 1,732,151 43.44% 0.24% 0.29% 0.04%
University of Sheffield 42,377,944 51451096 9,073,152 21.41% 2.60% 2.61% 0.00%
Sheffield Hallam University 4,950,415 7160688 2,210,273 44.65% 0.30% 0.36% 0.06%
SOAS University of London 5,474,419 5792191 317,772 5.80% 0.34% 0.29% -0.04%
Solent University 172,269 255118 82,849 48.09% 0.01% 0.01% 0.00%
University of Southampton 46,150,113 49088555 2,938,442 6.37% 2.83% 2.49% -0.35%
University of Suffolk 8,558 169353 160,795 1878.89% 0.00% 0.01% 0.01%
University of Sunderland 1,424,623 1762479 337,856 23.72% 0.09% 0.09% 0.00%
University of Surrey 15,669,527 19706034 4,036,507 25.76% 0.96% 1.00% 0.04%
University of Sussex 15,238,363 19209063 3,970,700 26.06% 0.94% 0.97% 0.04%
St Mary's University, Twickenham 519,724 758610 238,886 45.96% 0.03% 0.04% 0.01%
St George's, University of London 2,609,250 3811724 1,202,474 46.09% 0.16% 0.19% 0.03%
Staffordshire University 906,199 1757697 851,498 93.96% 0.06% 0.09% 0.03%
Teesside University 1,679,219 3624957 1,945,738 115.87% 0.10% 0.18% 0.08%
The Open University 8,810,183 10741257 1,931,074 21.92% 0.54% 0.54% 0.00%
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 248,486 236446 -12,040 -4.85% 0.02% 0.01% 0.00%
UCL 145,480,738 159176594 13,695,856 9.41% 8.93% 8.06% -0.87%
University of Warwick 37,114,497 40916223 3,801,726 10.24% 2.28% 2.07% -0.21%
University of the West of England 5,697,426 6264018 566,592 9.94% 0.35% 0.32% -0.03%
University of West London 418,347 1295159 876,812 209.59% 0.03% 0.07% 0.04%
University of Westminster 4,386,065 6510394 2,124,329 48.43% 0.27% 0.33% 0.06%
University of Winchester 847,654 1489169 641,515 75.68% 0.05% 0.08% 0.02%
University of Wolverhampton 2,048,284 3008529 960,245 46.88% 0.13% 0.15% 0.03%
University of Worcester 998,408 1141158 142,750 14.30% 0.06% 0.06% 0.00%
University of York 24,068,902 31050468 6,981,566 29.01% 1.48% 1.57% 0.10%
York St John University 652,882 1429342 776,460 118.93% 0.04% 0.07% 0.03%

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