WALES: Collaborative research funding plummets

Levels of funding secured by high education institutions in Wales for collaborative research has fallen sharply, new figures show, reports Sion Barry for the Western Mail. The latest Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction Survey shows that in 2007-08 funding for collaborative research from both public and private sources was down from £67.7 million (US$111 million) a year earlier to just £43.4 million, a fall of 36%.

But the fall can be explained by exceptional funding wins for Swansea University in 2006-07 when it secured £45.9 million. This was linked to a number of high-profile projects including one with computer giant IBM. Last year Swansea's funding fell back to £21 million. Cardiff University was down slightly from £13.6 million to £12 million. The University of Wales, Lampeter, was the only institution that did not secure any funding.

The survey, overseen by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, shows that for institutions as a whole in the UK, collaborative funding rose by 4.3% to £697 million. Only in the north-east of England, which has five universities, was the percentage drop in funding higher than in Wales.
Full report on the Wales Online site