Imperial's funding for research has received a cut, after this year's Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) led to funding being spread more thinly. Imperial fared better than some other top universities, however, as the government ring-fenced funding for science-based subjects. Imperial received a £3m (5.6%) increase in teaching grant, but with an overall funding increase of just 0.1%, less is available to spend on research. Imperial's large array of independently-funded research will soften the blow in many cases.
The redistribution of research funding across lower-ranked universities has seen London universities do well, with academics at Kingstoncelebrating a rise of 5.3%, Brunel getting 4.5%, and City University seeing funding jump by 11.1%. Although top universities suffered in the main, Oxford saw an overall funding increase of 4.4%.
Sir Roy Anderson told BBC News: "At a time when the UK is looking to its science, technology and medicine powerhouses for ideas and innovations to help lead the economic recovery, it can't have been intended that we could be reducing the share of, and in many cases, actual, research funds to institutions which have demonstrated sustained excellence across successive research assessments."
While the government re-affirmed its commitment to a well-funded higher education system, the shadow universities secretary said:
"It is the wholly predictable result of their policy to spread money too thinly and it is a great pity that our world-class institutions like Imperial and the LSE have lost out, especially when we need them so badly at tough times like this."