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University announces annual funding settlement – University of Reading

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University announces annual funding settlement

Release Date 05 March 2009

The University of Reading has today received confirmation of its annual funding settlement for 2009/10 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The funding of approximately £55 million will support the university's high standards of teaching, which have been recognized through the National Student Survey, and fund cutting-edge research in the sciences, arts and humanities and social sciences.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, Professor Gordon Marshall, said: "The University is an international research-intensive institution with a wide range of excellence from the sciences to the arts. Next year's Government funding, which makes up less than a quarter of our total income, will help us in our long-term ambition to remain a comprehensive university. It will also ensure that we are in a position to support those centres of excellence which have built successful global, collaborative research, and other activities, around their teaching."

The University's research excellence in areas such as philosophy and typography was recognized by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in December 2008. Unfortunately, the national funding model used by HEFCE to allocate research funds has not favoured Reading and a number of the University's strongest research areas have seen reduced funding¹.

The Government has also withdrawn funding for students with equivalent or lower qualifications (ELQS). In the case of Reading, the ELQS cut means that the University has lost almost half a million pounds which helps fund places for students who already have first degrees but who are renewing or updating their qualifications and skills through part-time or continuing education courses.

The Vice-Chancellor continued: "While we are broadly content with the settlement for 2009/10, we are disappointed that the national funding model used by HEFCE to allocate research funding has seen many of our best performing research departments have their funding cut. The Government's removal of ELQS funding for all universities will also have an impact on us. The combination of these is significant but not threatening, and we will need to consider them in the context of the University's overall finances - like many organizations, we are seeing costs rise significantly in areas such as pensions, salaries and energy.

"The University of Reading is rightly proud to be rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world. As ever, we will be calmly reviewing our activity, based on our Corporate Plan, and structuring the University to ensure we can provide the best possible resources and investment to develop those parts of the university where ground-breaking work is being done."

ENDS

Further information from Alex Brannen, Media Relations Manager, on 0118 378 7388 / 07834 006 243

Notes to editors:

University of Reading funding from HEFCE 2009/10 - Main figures

Total recurrent grant - £55,416,034

QR research grant (based on RAE 2008) - £14,737,861, a reduction of £3.8 million from 2008/9

Total teaching grant - £31,668,858

Removal of ELQS funding - £446,788

Moderation payment for 2009/10 (one year only) - £3.696,881

¹List of departments/schools which performed excellently in RAE 2008 that have had research funding cut:-

Archaeology – Reading was ranked the second best department in the country and its research funding has been cut from £739,000 in 2008 to £580,000 in 2009/10

Typography & Graphic Communication – ranked second in the country in RAE2008 - its share has fallen from £471,000 to £375,000

Italian Studies – ranked 4th in the country, its research share has dropped from £319,000 to £163,000

Philosophy – ranked 3rd in the country - its research funding has only increased by less than £6000

Construction Management and Engineering – despite being in the top three departments for construction management, its research funding has dropped from £1.3 million to just under £600,000

Real Estate & Planning – ranked in the top two Real Estate schools, its funding has dropped from £870,000 to £354,000

The research funding cuts for just these six top performing schools and departments is equivalent to £1.6 million. While the University did well in the RAE in these areas, Government funds at a national level have not increased sufficiently to ensure that excellence is recognized across the increasing number of institutions and researchers submitted to the relevant units of assessments. Research funds do not go directly to the departments or schools but are sent to the University as part of its block grant.

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