Funding council looks overseas for research excellence

British academics could have their research assessed alongside scholars from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, under plans being considered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, reports David Matthews for Times Higher Education.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has instructed the council to investigate whether it would be possible to include other countries and foreign universities in future research excellence framework exercises.

The idea was suggested to Willetts by David Eastwood, vice-chancellor of the University of Birmingham, who said assessing UK research alongside work done outside the country would "give you real international comparability". Eastwood envisaged an exercise jointly run by the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The funding council is already helping Hong Kong to set up a research assessment exercise.
Full report on Times Higher Education site