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Research Funding

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how much money the Higher Education Funding Council fo r England will be allocating to recurrent funding for research in England; [125487](2) what percentage of departments in England with 8,500 research active staff received a rating of 4 in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise; and how their funding will change from 2002–03 to 2003–04; [125483](3) what funding was available for departments with a 4 rating in 2002–03; and what is available in 2003–04; [125489](4) how many and what percentage of academics are working in 4-star rated research departments; and how many 4-star rated research departments there are in England; [125490](5) what percentage of research active staff in England are in departments rated 1 to 4, excluding those due to receive capability funding; [125485](6) what percentage of departments assessed in England in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise with 6,500 research active academic staff are at a level that will not receive recurrent funding in 2003–04; [125482](7) which subjects had fewer than 20 per cent. of departments in England receive a 5 to 5

* rating in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise; [125486]

(8) what percentage of departments in research intensive Russell Group institutions in England had research rated 1 to 3a in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. [125484]

In 2003/04, HEFCE is allocating a total of £1,042 million in recurrent research funding to English higher education institutions—an increase of 10.9 per cent. compared with 2002/03. The funding further increases in 2004/05 and 2005/06 by £107 million and £246 million respectively. In addition, HEFCE provided over £26 million through the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) this year to support universities in commercially exploiting their research. HEIF resources will be consolidated into a permanent stream of funding and increase by £80 million and £90 million in 2004/05 and 2005/06 respectively. HEFCE is also allocating £16 million in the next two years to establish 20 Knowledge Exchanges to help direct this activity within regional networks.

HEFCE allocated research funding according to the quality and volume of research departments that were rated 4 and above in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and an additional £20 million to departments that were rated 5* in both the last two RAE's. A further £20 million is also available as capability funding to departments that were rated 3a or 3b in seven specific subject areas, to provide extra support so the research base can improve to match that in the more established fields.

In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, 23 per cent. of departments in England received a 4 rating. In line with our policy set out in the Higher Education White Paper, HEFCE has re-balanced the funding levels between ratings for 2003–04 to ensure better resourcing for, and improved quality of, the best research. This has meant a reduction in funding for 4 rated departments from £139 million in 2002–03 to £118 million in 2003–04.