Russell Group gets smaller share of council cash

May 1, 2008

The share of research council grant funding won by the Russell Group of 20 large research-intensive universities fell last year, according to an analysis. The smaller research-intensive universities profited from their losses.

The figures show that the total share of funding awarded by the seven research councils and the Wellcome Trust to the Russell Group fell from 72.5 per cent in 2005-06 to 66.8 per cent in 2006-07.

Conversely, the share won by the 1994 Group of 19 smaller research-intensive universities increased from 14.6 per cent to 17.1 per cent.

The market share of grants won by teaching-intensive universities represented by the think-tank Million+ remained virtually unchanged.

The analysis, carried out by the magazine Research Fortnight, was based on data obtained from each of the research agencies, in some cases using the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the so-called Golden Triangle institutions, the University of Cambridge - the most highly funded of any institution - received £3.2 million less in research income in 2006-07 compared with the previous year, equivalent to a dip in market share of 1.4 per cent. The University of Oxford's share fell 0.73 per cent while that of Imperial College London dipped 0.13 per cent.

Among the 1994 Group universities, Bath, Reading and York did particularly well, increasing their market share by about 0.6 per cent.

The analysis, however, cautions against using the data to draw conclusions about individual institutions because of the many potential confounding factors, the largest of which is the award of large multi-year grants.

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