Excellent research should be funded wherever it is found, says Professor David Phoenix
17 December 2015
Vice-Chancellor David Phoenix has commented on the announcement by the government of the Stern review, announced 16 December 2015. The Stern review will look at how research funding for universities is allocated, and aims to prioritise the development of high quality research.
In his role as Chair of million+, the university think tank, Professor Phoenix said he welcomed the government’s commitment to consider the purpose, effectiveness and efficiency of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) but stated that the review should not undermine the long-standing principle that excellent research should be funded wherever it is found.
“The Research Excellence Framework has helped drive growth in internationally recognised research across the sector to the great benefit of industry, the professions and society at large,” he said.
“It is right that the government takes time to consider the purpose, effectiveness and efficiency of the REF, but given the outcomes of the last exercise it is both surprising and disappointing that the panel announced by Jo Johnson, the Universities and Science Minister, to support Lord Stern’s review does not include any modern university. There are also no representatives from Wales, Northern Ireland or the funding councils and only one university from Scotland.”