Spring Budget 2017 - Response

08 March 2017

Commenting on the Spring Budget, Acting Director of the Russell Group Dr Tim Bradshaw said:

Supporting science and research is an investment in growth and jobs. The spending priorities outlined by the Chancellor today – with the focus on research and investment in people – will lead to new discoveries, new products and services, new companies and a stronger UK economy.

The commitment to invest £90m in grants to support an additional 1000 PhD places will help secure a pipeline of research talent for the UK. Along with research funding for key science and technology challenge areas, this is a good start to taking forward the new industrial strategy.

Moves to attract the best international talent to the UK are also welcome. International staff and students are fundamental to the work of our world-leading universities and our ability to attract the best from around the world pays huge dividends to the UK economy and society. This investment sends a positive signal about the Government’s long-term intentions ahead of Article 50 being triggered. 

We now look forward to receiving further details of exactly how this funding will be allocated. In particular, we would welcome a commitment for an increased allocation to quality related ‘QR’ funding. This provides universities with the greatest flexibility to explore new opportunities – such as in AI and advanced medical technologies – and address emerging challenges in the most efficient and effective way.

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