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Higher Education Research Assessment and Funding

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

The Department has published for consultation proposals for a new higher education research assessment and funding system after 2008.

On 22 March, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Government's intention to consult on replacing the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), whose outcomes are based on the judgments of expert peer review panels, with a new system based mainly on metrics. Such a change is intended to bring savings of both time and cost to universities and higher education funding bodies, while continuing to recognise and reward research excellence.

The consultation proposals have been developed by a working group led jointly by Professor Sir Alan Wilson FBA FRS, Director-General for Higher Education in the Department for Education and Skills, and Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia and Chief Executive-designate of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Members of the working group comprised officials of HM Treasury, the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland and the Department of Trade and Industry, together with representatives of the Higher Education Funding Councils for England and Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

The consultation closes on 13 October 2006. The full text of our proposals is available at