HEFCW Budget Cuts: CaSE Letter to Minister for Education and Skills, December 2015
The Learned Society jointly wrote with CaSE, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology and other learned societies, to Huw Lewis AM, the Minister for Education and Skills, in response to the draft Welsh government budget 2016-17.
HEFCW has a vital function investing in research in Welsh universities particularly through the Quality-Related (QR) funding stream. This forms one half of the dual-support system and provides essential flexibility and autonomy to higher education institutions. It enables them to explore new avenues of research and pursue excellence in line with their institution’s strengths. This supports them to attract top academic talent and greater levels of funding from the UK Research Councils and European Union, as well as to meet the full cost of research, including research in partnership with charities and industry.
As demonstrated in Sir John Cadogan’s report for The Learned Society of Wales, blue-skies research underpins later success in applied research and innovation. This brings great economic, social, and health benefits. It also leverages further investment from industry: for each pound invested by the Government in R&D, private sector output rises by 20p each year in perpetuity. We welcome the increase in innovation funding in the draft Budget and believe it should be in concert with greater investment in blue-skies research in universities.
The Society has also commented on the impact of the proposed cuts in a Research Fortnight article
In a statement sent to Research Fortnight, the Learned Society of Wales said that it seemed inevitable that the cuts to HEFCW’s budget would significantly affect research. “This in turn is likely to impact gaining EU grants and runs contrary to the recent attempts by the Welsh government to address the long-standing ‘STEMM deficiency’ in Wales,” the society said.