Statement by the HEFCE on research funding
1. At its meeting on 14th December 2001
the HEFCE Board made the following decisions in relation to funding
universities and colleges in 2002-03.
2. The HEFCE Board agreed that total funding
for research for the academic year 2002-03 will be maintained
in real terms and provisionally set at £910 million.
3. The Board welcomed the further substantial
improvement in research quality compared with the 1996 Research
Assessment Exercise (RAE) and noted the rigour and robustness
of the process in the 2001 RAE.
4. The Board made a number of decisions
on the principles of research funding in 2002-03. It did so knowing
that, because of the improvements in research quality, the amount
of available resources would be insufficient to fund all departments
at current levels for
5. The Board agreed :
a. To use the results of the RAE 2001 as
the basis for funding research in 2002-03.
b. To restate its commitment to developing,
sustaining and rewarding world-class research by maintaining the
unit of resource for 5* departments.
c. To provide some funding for 3-rated departments
on a basis still to be determined.
d. To moderate the outcomes for total funding
in the first year with a system of safety nets and caps to enable
institutions to manage any changes in funding, as was the case
6. The overall improvement in research ratings,
combined with the limited amount of funds, means that there will
inevitably be some reduction in levels of funding for departments
rated below 5*. The Board will examine the options based on these
funding principles at its next meeting.
7. The Board placed on record its thanks
to the panel members and chairs, RAE staff, and all those in universities
and colleges who had contributed to the success of the exercise.
8. There will be a full consultation next
year (2002) on the form and nature of any future assessment exercise.