Memorandum submitted by Staffordshire
1. The assessment process in 2001 was well
managed and transparent. The manner in which panels operated and
the evidence we have concerning the number of publications actually
read gives us some confidence in the process itself. We continue
to be concerned that aspects of research more closely linked to
the New Universities still does not receive adequate recognition
in quality measures.
2. As far as the outcomes of the exercise
are concerned, we wish to emphasise the significant improvements
in research performance across the sector as a whole and within
the New University sector in particular. This represents a real
improvement of research across the country and one which results
a more focused approach to research
significant improvement in research
management in institutions
in the case of the New Universities,
an impressively efficient approach to research.
3. The efficiency of the research project
in the New Universities is based on a significantly lower level
of funding than for the sector as a whole. The total resource
for the New Universities for example is less than the HEFCE Research
Grant for the University of Oxford. This resource produced an
increase from 50 to just less than 500 researchers in grade 5
units over the period 1996-2001.
4. The work of universities such as ours
is particularly important to the national research effort in Art
and Design and Health, both areas fundamental to the future of
the country. Much of this work takes place in pockets in institutions,
some of which have specialised.
5. Many aspects of our work require research
underpinning. Our research and development work with companies
and communities will be undermined without the funding to maintain
the research input. Equally, if we are to maintain high levels
of teaching to inspire our growing student community we must ensure
that research and scholarship are encouraged and funded.
6. We are increasingly concerned that the
value of the research undertaken in institutions such as Staffordshire,
and in particular the significant improvement in the quality of
that research, will go unrewarded. More importantly, a reduction
of funding, implied in the recent comments of the HEFCE Board,
will create major difficulties in many aspects of our mission.
The RAE has demonstrated the world excellence of British research.
It will be enhanced by relatively small additional funds being
available to ensure a future for excellent research in institutions
such as ours.
Professor Howard Green
Dean, Research and Graduate School
16 January 2002