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Many issues await the attention of the new universities minister

In a week when the government reshuffled its cabinet, HE issues that made headlines gave the newly-appointed universities minister a taste of things to come, says Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Institute of Student Employers .

Storm clouds are gathering over UK universities

The past week’s events and news are a sign of turbulent times for UK universities, warns Nicola Owen, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) at Lancaster University.

The UK must look after its global talent

Mike Ratcliffe, academic registrar at Nottingham Trent University, reflects on issues emerging from a packed week of higher education news.

Student complaints rise by nearly 21% in a year

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for higher education has reported almost a 21 per cent rise in the number of complaints it received from students last year – rising to their highest ever level at 2,371.

EU awards £1.4 billion of research funding to UK

Universities and businesses in the UK have received £1.4 billon of research funding from the European Commission since 2014, according to new figures.

The figures from the EU database, published by the government, give details of UK participation in Horizon 2020, the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation which runs from 2014 to 2020.

The UK has received 15 per cent of the overall funding, putting it in second place out of the 28 European Union members states. A report published last year by the EC showed that Germany had been awarded the largest proportion of Horizon 2020 funding so far.

In the UK, universities receive the lion’s share (27 per cent) of the funding, followed by public bodies, private companies and research organisations.

Cambridge University tops the UK funding table, receiving nearly £80 million, followed by University College London, Imperial College and Oxford University.

All of the Russell Group’s 24 members appear in the top 30 table, including Sheffield and Exeter. Universities outside of the group who also featured were Bath, St Andrews, Surrey, Strathclyde, Sussex and Dundee.

The figures also show that under the predecessor to Horizon 2020, Framework Programme 7 which ran from 2007 to 2013, UK organisations were awarded £5.7 billion. The UK was ranked second out of the 28 countries, receiving 15 per cent of the total funding.

The enormous value of research income from Europe is one of the key arguments being put forward by University UK and Universities for Europe in support of the “Remain” campaign for Britain to continue its EU membership.

A UUK analysis has found that students from other EU countries generate £3.7 billion for the UK economy and support more than 34,000 jobs. The Daily Mail reports that Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, UUK President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, warned that leaving the EU could deter many international students and researchers from coming to Britain. In a letter to The Times, universities minister Jo Johnson and former ministers Lord Mandelson, Kenneth Clarke, Alan Johnson and Charles Clarke warn that exiting the EU would damage British research and universities.

 

Top 30 UK universities for Horizon 2020 income

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