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More calls for less concentration

The University and College Union says research funding should be more widely spread, writes Alison Goddard.

Research funding should increase so that resources are no longer concentrated in a handful of universities, according to a report published today by a trade union. As the results of the six-year peer-reviewed system of research assessment approach publication next week, we have an article, available only to subscribers to HE, which reports the call by the University and College Union for a wider distribution of funds. Alas the trade union is being extraordinarily optimistic in thinking that such funds might be forthcoming in an age of austerity in which the majority of public funding cuts have yet to be made. Meanwhile Vince Cable, the business secretary, is now due to announce the science and innovation strategy—which will help inform the allocation of scarce funds—at 9:30am tomorrow at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

Today’s newspapers report impending teacher shortages in England and in Scotland, which are attributed to an improving economy and a shift towards training teachers in schools rather than universities. The Daily Telegraph says that the shortage will arise just a pupil numbers soar. Its Scottish political editor points out that the Scottish National Party is unlikely to deliver its manifesto pledge of smaller class sizes (not that there is much evidence that small class sizes raise attainment). The Independent says that good schools will cherry pick the best teachers. The Herald says that teacher numbers have fallen to a ten-year low

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