Budget 2016

16 March 2016

Responding to the Budget, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“Our leading universities produce world-class research which boosts productivity, drives efficiency savings, saves lives and creates innovative high-growth businesses and highly-skilled jobs.

“Russell Group universities are engines of growth in their regions and will be key partners in the first wave of Science and Innovation Audits announced by the Chancellor today. These audits will demonstrate how our leading universities generate global competitive advantage for the UK through excellent research and innovation and vibrant links with business and the wider economy.

“Postgraduates are essential to a vibrant knowledge economy, are in demand by employers and are vital to growing a highly-skilled workforce in the UK. Our universities award nearly two-thirds of doctorates in the UK and our postgraduate research students go on to become leaders in science, public services and businesses. The introduction of PhD loan support, alongside existing grant funding, will be welcomed by students and universities alike.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Our latest report Engines of Growth: the impact of research at Russell Group universities and accompanying film highlight how research from Russell Group universities generates billions of pounds in returns to the UK economy, has an impressive impact on the health and quality of life of the nation and contributes to our rich cultural life and heritage.
  2. The Budget included announcements on where the first wave of Science and Innovation Audits will be conducted: Greater Manchester and East Cheshire, Edinburgh and the Lothians, South West England and South East Wales, Sheffield City Region and Lancashire LEP and the Midlands. Future audits in other areas will be announced later this year.
  3. From 2018-19, loans of up to £25,000 will be available to any English student without a Research Council living allowance who can win a place for doctoral study at a UK university. The government will launch a technical consultation on the detail at a later date. The Government have also extended the eligibility for student loans to include three-year part-time masters courses with no full time equivalent.
  4. The Russell Group has continually argued for more support for postgraduate research students who are vital to the success of UK research and our universities' international competitiveness. Read more in our contribution to a 2013 CentreForum report on postgraduates.
  5. Read the full Budget documents here.

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