Universities are at the heart of the research system, with 90 per cent of the UK’s most highly-cited publications having university authorship. Universities are also the setting in which research, teaching and knowledge exchange are integrated to develop truly advanced knowledge and skills to support productive businesses and innovative public services.
The review stresses the strengths of the system – the importance of dual support, the expertise of the Research Councils, and the fundamental role of peer review in identifying excellence.
We are particularly pleased that the review reinforces the importance of dual support. It emphasises the need to preserve HEFCE’s existing expertise and distinct functions in any future configuration of research funding, including our capability with regard to understanding institutions and the sector holistically, and supporting research skills capacity.
HEFCE looks forward to supporting the Government in finding the best ways of meeting these important objectives, and of ensuring that universities can fully deliver on government aspirations for the economy and society at regional, national and international levels. We encourage all interested parties to engage in this open discussion.