UCL tops big 5 with £93m

March 11, 2005

  • £1,251 million for research 
  • Research funding up 8.3% in real terms on 04-05 
  • £4,004 million for teaching 
  • Cash per student up 0.4% in real terms

University College London emerges with the largest general research grant in England in 2005-06, ahead of its rival research giants Cambridge University, Oxford University and Imperial College London.

UCL has won just under £93 million - £600,000 more than Cambridge - the allocations released this week by the Higher Education Funding Council for England reveal.

Oxford has won £90 million, with Imperial attracting £82.4 million for the year. Meanwhile, the newly created Manchester University, with Pounds 68.9 million, can now claim a place in the elite group of research powerhouses.

The big five account for a third of the £1,251 million allocated by the council for general research support in universities.

Overall, the funding council is skewing more of its research funds to the top research-rated university departments than in previous years.

This year's research funding has been bolstered by more than £60 million for PhD degree programmes, which total £188 million for the year.

Part of UCL's increase in research funding is down to an above-average increase in numbers of eligible postgraduate research students. Increases in its mainstream research block grant and funding for the hospital-based clinical subject have also contributed to the rise.

Other universities faring well are London Business School (24.8 per cent increase) and the universities of Keele, Cranfield, Salford and Kent. These rises are also attributed to a funding injection in the research degree programme, increases in funding selectivity and the increase in overall available funds.

Dean Curtis, Salford's resources director, said he was delighted by the increase, particularly that for postgraduate research students. "This is a major contribution to boosting our research assessment exercise profile."

Rama Thirunamachandran, Hefce's director of research and knowledge transfer, said: "This is one of the best settlements for institutions with a 10.8 per cent increase in research funding. An additional £116 million is going into research funding on a like-for-like basis. This will provide the sector with a very significant increase across the board."

Combined with the £903 million capital funding announced in January and research council grants, the allocations should make a difference to researchers and their facilities, he said. It would also provide stablity ahead of the introduction of variable tuition fees.

The allocations continue the research selectivity of previous years.

Departments rated 5 and 5* in the last RAE earned 88 per cent of the funding, with 4-rated departments' funding maintained in real terms. A further £24 million is tagged for "best 5* departments", those that received 5* in both the 2001 and 1996 RAEs.

anthea.lipsett@thes.co.uk

LINK TO TABLE IN STATISTICS  SECTION

2005-2006: Funding allocations for England

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