BCS criticises plans to concentrate research

20 June 2003

BCS and ten other learned societies have responded to Government plans to concentrate research funding on elite institutions.

In a joint statement to education secretary, Charles Clarke, the parties expressed their "dismay on moves to focus research in only a small number of higher education institutions or departments."

The statement advises against the further concentrations of research funding in UK universities proposed in the recently published Department for Education and Skills White Paper, The Future of Higher Education. The White Paper proposals will transfer funding from 4 rated departments to concentrate funding on so-called "six star" departments in a few institutions.

The statement says that "pre-eminent departments need to be strongly supported to allow them to compete internationally, but not at the expense of other departments and institutions. Concentration of research funding in a few institutions will cause ossification across the sector, closing down the important bedrock research".

In England, research funding is already being withdrawn in departments judged to be doing work of national excellence by the Government's own assessment of research, the Research Assessment Exercise.

View the joint statement. The statement is from BCS, Academy of Social Sciences, British Educational Research Association, British Philosophical Association, British Psychological Society, British Sociological Association, Philological Society, Political Studies Association, Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers, Royal Historical Society and the Royal Statistical Society.

To find out more about BCS Responses to government and BCS Position Statements on ICT issues, please visit the BCS Position Statements and Responses section.

For further information please contact the BCS Press Office.