Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


Memorandum from the National Conference of University Professors (NCUP)


  I am writing concerning the above. I do so on behalf of the National Conference of University Professors (NCUP). The National Conference of University Professors ( aims to promote beneficial developments in the UK university system.

  The NCUP is dedicated to the impartial communication of information and advice about higher and further education in general. Our organisation has a membership drawn from all disciplines and all UK university institutions.

  A recent survey of Members' opinions (see Annex) indicated a great concern about the perceived threat to the UK science base. In particular the following emerges:

  1.  Members view very negatively the impact that HEFC funding has had, using RAE rankings, on the science-base of university Departments.

  Further, it is felt that:

  2.  It is undesirable to increase the concentration of scientific research into a few departments.

  3.  Teaching only science departments are both undesirable and non-viable.

  4.  It is very important to maintain a regional capacity in science teaching and research.

  5.  It is essential that Government should intervene to ensure a continued provision for those scientific subjects of strategic, national or regional importance.

  I would urge the Committee to consider seriously the voice of the NCUP in this matter. Certainly we would want our views to be "factored in" to policy actions taken in the light of the deliberations of the Science and Technology Committee.

  I have appended an Appendix of both quantitative (questionnaire based) and qualitative (Members' views that encapsulate the views of many others) evidence to back up the import of points 1 through to 5 above. I am happy to communicate further on this matter.

January 2005

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