RSE - Scotland

November 15, 1996

Selectivity is vital in order to maintain research excellence at an international level, according to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, but funding should be awarded by competition which should not be restricted to a small number of institutions, writes Olga Wojtas.

The RSE says any concentration of resources should be by subject and not by university, and funding must be "sufficiently flexible to allow for outstanding innovations in research to be developed wherever they occur".

Recommendations must not damage disciplines important to Scotland's technological development, even though some subject areas may seem disproportionately large in terms of population.

It highlights difficulties in funding research which straddle several disciplines, and is also concerned at the low level of funding for many areas in the humanities.

The RSE supports the four-year honours degree system as dovetailing with a schools system which encourages a higher proportion of pupils than elsewhere in the United Kingdom to continue with a range of subjects, offering them greater career choices.

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