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New year presents HE sector with fresh challenges

Professor Malcolm Todd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (academic and student experience) at the University of Derby, comments on what he sees as the most significant higher education news and opinions making headlines in the first week of 2020.

Universities UK International calls on employers to back study abroad campaign

Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, introduces the launch of Year Three of UUKi's Go International: Stand Out campaign, calling on employers to promote the value of international experience.

University leaders commit to pension talks as strikes begin

University leaders have written to the University and College Union to formally outline their commitment to continuing to work with UCU to deliver long-term reform of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. The move comes as UCU members at 60 universities begin strike action in disputes over both pensions and pay.

Gateway to university expertise now provides 'smart match' with business

A platform providing a single access point for businesses to university expertise and funding opportunities has been further developed by the National Centre for Universities and Business, Research England, and UK Research and Innovation, to help 'smart match' business and industry with higher education institutions, in a bid to boost R&D collaboration. Shivaun Meehan, Head of Communications at the NCUB, outlines the latest features of Konfer.

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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