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Willetts’ one-off engineering fund not enough, say elite universities

UK universities need more than the £200 million for science teaching facilities announced by the science minister on 30 September, the director general of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities has said.

“We would also still like to see increases in recurrent capital funding, as laboratories and research facilities have running and upgrade costs that last long after the final brick is laid,” said Wendy Piatt in a statement that nevertheless welcomed the announcement. “Funding the operational costs of world-leading facilities is becoming increasingly difficult for our universities in the light of increased energy costs and the flat-cash settlement for research funding that has been in place since 2010.”

She also called on the Higher Education Funding Council for England to continue supporting subjects that are expensive to teach, such as engineering.

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