The Budget 2011

23 March 2011

Commenting on the Budget 2011, Russell Group Director General Dr Wendy Piatt said:

“Research must be at the heart of the Government’s strategy for long-term economic growth. The Government has rightly recognised that our leading universities will play a critical role as the UK works and thinks its way back to sustainable economic growth.

“The Budget’s £100 million additional capital investment in science investment projects is a welcome step in the right direction. We look forward to helping maximise the impact of this new investment in science and research. However, it should not be forgotten that our competitors are injecting vast amounts of cash into their universities, and our leading universities are already under-resourced in comparison with our international competitors.

“World-class infrastructure, particularly buildings and equipment, is needed to facilitate the very best environment for research and teaching. However, we remain very concerned that cuts to capital spend indicated in last year’s spending review will create real difficulties for UK universities.

“We support the Government’s reform of R&D tax credits and the Enterprise Investment Scheme to benefit early-stage, high-tech companies. Our universities are engaging closely with businesses, commercially exploiting their research, and generating world-beating spin-out companies. World-class university research is integral to the development of successful knowledge-intensive businesses in the UK and overseas.

“As the UK’s economic competitiveness becomes increasingly dependent upon high-tech industries and skilled graduates, our leading research-intensive universities will be of crucial importance in tackling today’s increasingly complex problems and driving future growth and prosperity. Groundbreaking university research has resulted in far-reaching benefits which have been shared by the UK's businesses, government, and taxpayer.

“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 by leading global companies. We need this investment to flow to the United Kingdom and have to ensure that Britain retains world-class universities who are international partners of choice.  In an uncertain world, our leading universities are a sound and essential investment. We will strive to maintain our contribution to economic growth.”

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