Quality call for research

August 4, 1995

Cambridge and London universities are the main contributors to the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise panels announced this week.

The four national funding councils released the names of 542 members of 60 panels covering 69 subject areas. Of these London provides 69 members including 14 chairs - with the largest contribution coming from University College with 14 members - while Cambridge has 31 members. The next largest contingents come from Oxford (25), Edinburgh (22) and Manchester (19).

Graeme Davies, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, said: "The overriding criterion was always research quality, but where there were either/or choices we did our best to ensure representation for the new universities and for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland."

Scotland has 56 representatives on panels, Wales 21 and Northern Ireland 9. There are 51 panel members from new universities and colleges of higher education. Only five of the 56 chairs are women. Professor Davies said: "That is unfortunate, but it is a reflection of the imbalance of the professoriat."

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