Research elite winners in 'special pot' league

November 7, 2003

Elite research universities are getting the lion's share of cash from the Higher Education Funding Council for England's £1.7 billion "special pot", figures released this week show.

The special pot comprises expenditure not covered by formula-based funding for teaching and research.

The universities of Cambridge and Oxford top the table, sharing £68 million or 8.8 per cent of the funds. Then come Birmingham, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bristol, Southampton, University College London, Imperial College London, Manchester, King's College London and Leeds.

The highest-ranking non-Russell Group institution in the table is London Metropolitan University. Its £14.7 million special-pot grant includes £5.2 million in inherited liabilities as well as £2 million each from the capital, information technology and strategic sector funds.

Formula-based funding provides £4.6 billion to English institutions and, again, the research elite gets a large chunk.

Universities and other organisations bid for special cash for strategic funds. The largest of these is the research infrastructure fund - worth £0 million this year - followed by strategic-sector initiatives such as the collaborative and restructuring fund.

In terms of strategic-sector funding, four institutions received more than £5 million each through the collaboration and restructuring, e-University and medical capital funds. They were the universities of Keele, Sussex, Nottingham and Exeter.

But some institutions were ordered to repay money, including Middlesex University, which was overpaid £900,000 through the strategic-sector fund. Cambridge was ordered to repay almost £20,000 through the value-for-money scheme.

The data also list grants made from Hefce to research councils, Universities UK and the Higher Education Policy Institute.

The Arts and Humanities Research Board received £59 million from the national facilities fund. The research infrastructure fund paid the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council £4.7 million, the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council £4.5 million and the Natural Environment Research Council £1.6 million.

UUK received £780,000 and Hepi got £94,000.

Who got what

Cambridge £38.5m Oxford £29.5m Birmingham £.5m Newcastle £22.7m Nottingham £21.9m Bristol £20.1m Southampton £19.5m University College London £19.2m Imperial College London £19.0m Manchester £18.0m King's College London £17.6m Leeds £16.5m

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