The Budget 2009

23 April 2009

Responding to the Budget and letter from the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

“The Russell Group welcomes the Government’s commitment to protect science funding in a challenging financial climate. However we would urge that the £400m ‘additional savings’ to the DIUS budget should not be passed on as cuts to universities.

“Our institutions are subject to some extremely difficult economic conditions with income streams under threat, costs increasing and international competition escalating. In the current climate there is likely to be increased pressure on public spending on higher education and research, with vital income from charities and business squeezed; revenue from international students volatile, and costs for people, energy and borrowing soaring.

“Now, more than ever, our research-intensive universities have a crucial role to play in helping the UK survive the economic downturn and stimulate a recovery. World-class universities, with their heavy concentration of brainpower, established excellence, and the sheer numbers and facilities to achieve global impact, are best placed to attract investment and drive innovation with leading global companies. It is vital that they our research-intensive universities given the right conditions to continue to flourish – not presented with yet more barriers to sustaining their success.”

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