Russell Group capital spending ‘comparable to 2012 Olympics’

The Russell Group will spend £9 billion on capital projects over five years, “comparable” to the UK’s spend on hosting the Olympics, a report claims

May 20, 2014

Source: Rob Wilson/Shutterstock.com

The estimates are made by consultants BiGGAR Economics in a report for the Russell Group, published today, which looks at the economic impact of capital spending by the group’s 24 large research-intensive universities.

The report argues that “investment that supports the competitive position of Russell Group universities will directly support the future growth of the UK economy”.

Capital funding for universities has been hit particularly hard by government austerity.

Wendy Piatt, Russell Group director, urged the government “to step up big capital investment in our universities. We will keep investing on behalf of our students and academics but the rest of the world are snapping at our heels and spending money to match their ambition. We must do the same.”

Over a 25-year period “capital investment by Russell Group universities is expected to generate gross value added (GVA) with a current value of £44.3 billion for the UK economy”, says the report, titled “Economic Impact of the Capital Investment Plans of the Russell Group Universities”.

The capital projects are “expected to support more than 95,000 UK jobs”.

In order for these institutions to maintain their “competitive position” in research, international student and staff recruitment, and rankings, “it is essential that Russell Group universities continue to invest in high-quality facilities that will deliver the kind of student experience and research environment expected of world-class universities”, says the report.

Of the £9 billion spend on capital investment in the five years to 2016-17, the report states: “This is comparable in value to the rail investment programme announced by the UK government in 2012 that was described by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as ‘the biggest expansion in railways in over 150 years’.”

“It is also comparable to the £8.9 billion that was reportedly spent hosting the 2012 Olympics in London,” the report adds, citing a newspaper report on Olympic costs.

john.morgan@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (1)

Such such scarce national investment resources should be properly integrated with the national TSB strategy in particular, and importantly also used in part to help improve and develop the relatively weak R&D capability of many of our industrial, commercial and not-for-profit bodies, especially potentially innovative SMEs.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest