More cash, but at a price

Canada“As governments around the world struggle with the downturn, there has been a renewed focus on the role higher education and research can play in the recovery. In last month’s Budget, Alistair Darling announced a reallocation of £106 million of research funding towards areas of ‘predicted economic potential’. His comments echoed those of John Denham, the Universities Secretary, who recently said that ‘universities need to focus more on supporting the economy’. The economic benefits of investments in the sector are well documented. However, these benefits can be fully realised only if policymakers recognise that good research doesn’t emerge from political diktats. Indeed, as the Canadian experience reveals, dangers arise when governments bypass the scientific community and bind research too closely to industry needs …” (more)

[David Robinson, Times Higher Education, 7 May]

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