Vice-chancellors lobby Brussels on research cuts

Around 30 UK vice-chancellors travelled to Brussels to lobby European policy-makers against potential cuts to research funding, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.

The group, which forms the largest-ever overseas delegation of UK university leaders, will oppose plans to reallocate funds from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research fund. The EU is considering whether to divert around €2.7 billion (US$2.88 billion) allocated for research in Horizon 2020 into the European Strategic Investment Fund. This may harm research and innovation, universities have warned.

Horizon 2020 was launched last year and was due to be worth nearly €80 billion (US$85 billion) over seven years to the end of 2020. But new plans to create a strategic investment – which could be accessed by a range of institutions and businesses, rather than primarily universities and research institutes – were proposed last year. The European Commission says the fund would boost entrepreneurship, jobs and growth, and has been described as a “major step towards job creation and growth in the European economy”.
Full report on the Times Higher Education site