Response to the Nurse Review

19 November 2015

Commenting on the publication of the final report of the Nurse Review, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome Sir Paul’s call to preserve the science ring-fence. Investment in excellent science, research and innovation strengthens the pipeline for growth and jobs right across the country.

“Our universities are world-leaders for research excellence but we cannot afford to be complacent. The UK spends much less on research than our competitors in China, Germany and Japan. Increased funding for science, research and innovation in the UK is critical for the ability of our leading universities to stay ahead of the pack.

“The Nurse Review rightly recognises the dual support system is vital to our success as a research powerhouse. But it must be maintained in practice as well as in principle if changes to the Research and Funding Councils are made.

“We support efforts to improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of research councils, but it is critical that priorities regarding research continue to be decided by the academic community in partnership with key stakeholders and user groups.

Notes to Editors

  1. The UK’s spending on research and development as a proportion of GDP was 1.63% in 2013. This is well below the EU average of 2.02%, the spending of 2.08% by China (up from 1.98% in 2012), 3.47% by Japan, 2.85% by Germany and US investment of 2.73% (up from 2.70% in 2012). Sources: Office for National Statistics, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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