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The Russell Group of Universities World-class institutions: the national and international picture Dr Wendy Piatt Director General of The Russell Group.

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Presentation on theme: "The Russell Group of Universities World-class institutions: the national and international picture Dr Wendy Piatt Director General of The Russell Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Russell Group of Universities World-class institutions: the national and international picture Dr Wendy Piatt Director General of The Russell Group

2 2 The Russell Group of Universities University of Birmingham University of Bristol University of Cambridge Cardiff University University of Edinburgh University of Glasgow Imperial College London King’s College London University of Leeds University of Liverpool London School of Economics and Political Science University of Manchester University of Newcastle University of Nottingham Queen’s University Belfast University of Oxford University of Sheffield University of Southampton University College London University of Warwick

3 3 Characteristics of world-class universities Research-intensive, with high levels of research excellence Scotland’s research is strongest in the world, in terms of citations relative to GDP. 1 The UK ranks second after US in total publications and citations. 2 The Russell Group accounts for over 60 percent of the highest rated research, and the majority of all public and privately-funded research activity in UK HE. 3 The highest quality of research-led teaching Non-completion averages only 4% at Russell Group universities 4 and graduates enjoy an additional wage premium of around 10% over other UK graduates. 5 Powerful drivers of innovation and economic development Russell Group universities have created over 400 successful spin-out companies. 6 and Edinburgh and Glasgow have contract and collaborative research partnerships with business and industry valued at £65m per year 7. A strong commitment to community and society The Russell Group works hard to ensure that talented students from every background have the chance to benefit from HE. In England in 2008, additional fee income spent on bursaries and outreach averaged £2.8m per RG institution. 8 Our research and teaching supports society in addressing medical, environmental and social challenges, and in its understanding of culture and the arts. 1. New Horizons, 2008; 2. DIUS, International comparative performance of the UK Research Base, 2008; 3. RAE 2008, HESA, HE-BCI; 4. HESA; 5. Chevalier & Conlon, Does it Pay to Attend a Prestigious University?, 2003; 6&7. HE-BCI 2006/07; 8. OFFA, 2008

4 4 Benefits of world-class universities There has been growing interest in world-class universities because of: Changes in the operating environment for universities: influence of expansion, globalisation and privatisation. Recognition of the vital contribution that higher education will make to national competitiveness in tomorrow’s global, knowledge economy. The particular value placed on research universities, in training the high-level specialists and generating the new knowledge necessary for innovation. Evidence suggests that ‘world-class’ universities: Are able to deliver research at ‘the frontier’ – which tends to offer the greatest benefits. 1 (eg Major benefits of Prof Ken Murray’s pioneering work on Hepatitis B vaccine -Edinburgh) Offer a critical mass of research activity associated with the highest quality research performance. 2 Facilitate the formation of clusters of research and innovation Offer the scale of research and facilities to attract investment from global companies. Attract the very best global talent as staff and students. (Glasgow and Edinburgh universities account for 23% of international postgraduate students in Scottish HEIs.) Build networks with leading centres of knowledge around the globe. (eg Glasgow Sleep Centre is working with National Institutes of Health in US to tackle persistent insomnia) 1. Aghion, Dewatripont, Hoxby et al Higher Aspirations: an agenda for reforming European universities (2008); 2. Page, A Review of Volume Indicators, HEFCE, (1999)

5 5 World-class universities – Scotland’s advantage If size of population is taken into account, Scotland boasts more highly ranked research universities in major league tables than the UK, the US or Europe. Scotland’s research-intensive universities compete with the best in the world, and are a major national asset. Highly ranked universities, per capita (2008) Source: Shanghai Jiaotong University, Academic Ranking of World Universities (2008); THES QS World University Rankings (2008)

6 6 The international picture 1.&3. OECD, Education at a Glance, 2008;2. Universities Scotland. 4. DTI/OSI, PSA Target metrics for the UK Research base, DIUS, International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base, 2008; 6. OECD, Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2008; 7. HESA, 2006/07 Other countries have been increasing investment in higher education… The US invests 2.9% of GDP in HE and the OECD average is 1.5%. 1 In comparison, the UK spends 1.3%, and Scotland 1.05% 2. Taking public spending on HE institutions alone, the UK spends 0.9% of GDP – the same as Hungary and Mexico. The US spends 1.1%, Canada 1.4% and Sweden 1.5%. 3 Increasing global competition for talent 30% of academic staff within the Russell Group are from overseas (compared to 21% in UK sector as a whole). 7 There is growing international competition for the best staff. A critical shortage of homegrown postgraduate students restricts the supply of early-career academics from within the UK. There is growing competition for internationally mobile students and postgraduate researchers. …and in research. In 2002 the UK fell to last place amongst G8 countries in the proportion of GDP spent on publicly funded R&D (UK figure is 0.58% of GDP). 4 The Chinese Government now spends more on R&D than the UK. China’s total publications have increased fourfold in the past decade and may be about to overtake the UK. 5 US total expenditure on R&D increased from $277 billion in 2002 to $343 billion in Total UK expenditure rose from $31 billion to $36 billion during the same period. 6

7 7 The international picture Universities ranked in world top 500 by the Shanghai Jiaotong league table, China and UK, Since 2004: China’s universities have been moving up the league table The UK’s performance remains static US universities continue to dominate (159 in top 500 in 2008) Source: Shanghai Jiaotong University, Academic Rankings of World Universities,

8 8 United States Stimulus package includes an additional $20 billion for scientific research. The top 20 universities received over $8 billion in charitable donations in 2008, and endowments still vastly exceed those in the UK. Australia New measures proposed to increase market share of international postgraduate research students In 2007, Government announced a £2.5 billion one-time payment to HEIs India In 2007, the government made £7 billion investment over 5 yrs for HE. PM plans to create 40 new Institutes of Technology and Management. By 2015, India will be producing 1.4 million graduate engineers a year. The international picture China Soon to have the largest annual output of graduates in the world and the majority of PhDs in S&T 11 leading institutions receive more than US$120 million per year from Government. Middle East The new KAUST in Saudi Arabia is the richest university in the world outside US. £millions are being invested to develop HE in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai Brazil 10,000 PhDs and 30,000 Masters students will graduate in 2009 – 10 fold increase in 20 yrs. Korea World Class University Project is providing additional funding for research in universities. France HE reforms will increase operating budgets by 50% over 5 years and improve university research performance. Germany The Excellence Initiative is increasing research funding for selected ‘elite’ universities.

9 9 World-class universities - implications for Scotland and the UK In the current era of knowledge-intensive growth, good average higher education is not enough… It is crucial to also foster some ‘world-class’ universities. 1 Characteristics of a world-class university (WCU): Alignment of key factors 2 1. Aghion, Dewatripont, Hoxby et al Higher Aspirations: an agenda for reforming European universities (2008); 2. Jamil Salmi The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities, The World Bank (2009)

10 10 World-class universities – implications for Scotland and the UK In order to ensure that the UK continues to benefit from world-class universities we should: Ensure adequate funding of our leading research-intensive universities: Increase total investment (public and private) in research and teaching to internationally competitive levels. (Will new funding arrangements in Scotland achieve this?) Maintain a regulatory environment (including policies for education, science, immigration, trade and taxation) which enables universities to compete internationally. Continue to improve efficiency and management, safeguard institutional and academic autonomy, whilst also ensuring proper use of public funds. To safeguard the UK’s world-class universities the Russell Group is committed to: Maintaining the highest international standards of higher education and research. Being attractive and accessible to the most talented people in the UK and internationally. (Support from Government for international scholarships is important) Engaging with others to maximise the benefits to the UK economy and society of ground-breaking research and innovation. (eg Translational Medicine Research Collab.) Collaboration and partnership with other leading global players in higher education and research (Edinburgh and Glasgow have bilateral partnerships with several hundred universities worldwide and are members of international groups of research universities: Universitas 21, LERU, IRUN).


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