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Research

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what assessment his Department has made of the economic impact of research in universities which have received less than £2 million of quality-related research funding in each year since 2002; (245616)

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the impact of research in universities with a strong profile in excellent research of national significance, as determined by the 2002 research assessment exercise, upon innovation and applied research in respect of (a) international companies, (b) the regional economies, (c) higher education exports, (d) the NHS and (e) other public and not-for-profit sectors.

DIUS carries out a wide range of work to measure the impact of research carried out in universities. Each year, the Department publishes a report summarising this work. The latest report, ‘Economic Impacts of Investment in Research and Innovation’ is available via the DIUS website at

http://www.dius.gov.uk/publications/documents/Science/Science/2008Economic_impact_report.pdf.

This report includes sections on the economy, innovation, health care, and the higher education, public and business sectors. It covers research carried out in all universities, regardless of their previous results in the research assessment exercise or the amount of quality-related research funding that they have received.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Department’s strategy is for ensuring that students in universities which are leaders in widening participation have equal access to a well-resourced research infrastructure in their university. (245618)

The Government’s policy are that students should have access to the higher education courses that best suit their needs, and universities should leverage their research activities to enrich undergraduate programmes as appropriate. This will not happen in the same way in all universities, and we do not believe it should. The Government’s debate on the future of higher education offers an opportunity to discuss how teaching should develop over the next 10 to 15 years.