Science funding in the Autumn Statement

18 December 2013

Commenting on science funding in the Autumn Statement Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“At the time of the Autumn Statement we welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment for extra funding of £185m over four years for teaching vital science subjects, but also asked for clarification as to how it would be distributed.

“We are pleased that David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, has since assured us that this funding will enable HEFCE to increase significantly its funding per student for existing STEM places, especially for places on physics, chemistry and some engineering courses where quality provision is most costly.

“Tuition fee income alone cannot cover the high costs of STEM subjects which are critical to the future growth of the UK’s economy. Russell Group universities have a high proportion of students in these subjects and we have consistently argued that they are under-funded.

“As part of a balanced commitment to investing in universities, we are also pleased that the Government has assured us that they fully support the ring-fenced science budget which pays long-term dividends for the economy and that funding for research in universities will not be cut in 2014-15 or 2015-16. We look forward to a similar commitment to maintaining investment in the Higher Education Innovation Fund which underpins our universities’ economically crucial work with business and helps drive growth.”

Note to Editors

  1. STEM is a commonly used acronym to describe subjects in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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