Research cut could hit universities hard

March 3, 2007 9:00 AM

The Government Trade and Industry Minister has today admitted that he did not consider the effects on universities before taking the decision to cut research council budgets.

David Howarth asked the Secretary of State Malcolm Wicks what assessment he had made of the effects on universities of the removal of £68 million from research council budgets in order to make up for deficits in order parts of the Department of Trade and Industry. Malcolm Wicks was unable to say at this point whether an assessment had been made and said that he needed more time to respond.

Mr. Howarth commented:

"The Government has suddenly removed £68 million from the budgets of research councils. This is money which has already been allocated towards important research projects which could now face drastic cuts.

"Universities like Cambridge rely significantly on research council grants and I am very concerned that this cut will damage the teaching and research provided at our universities."

David Howarth looking into a microscope

David visits researchers at the Department of Earth Sciences in Cambridge

The Department of Trade and Industry announced earlier this month that it was moving £68 million of 'underspend' from research council's budgets to other areas of DTI spending this year

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