HL Deb 20 June 1991 vol 530 cc23-4WA
Lord Flowers

asked Her Majesty's Government:

On what basis they are able to assert (H.L. Deb., 23rd May 1991, col. 373) that "in the two years since 1989–90 University Funding Council recurrent funds distributed on research-based criteria have risen by 10 per cent. in each year"; and what is their estimate of the total science base spending for the years 1990–91 and 1991–92 as a percentage of spending in 1978–79.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Baroness Blatch)

The Government's plans provided for a year-on-year increase of some 10 per cent. in the available public funding for universities through UFC recurrent grant and publicly-funded tuition fees in the financial years 1990–91 and 1991–92. Within this, UFC funding on research-based criteria increased by some 16 per cent. in academic year 1990–91 and by some 10 per cent. in 1991–92. The increase in 1990–91 is likely to overstate the actual increase in UFC-funded spending on research because of changes in other elements of UFC funding. Actual spending on research is a matter for individual institutions. Figures for funding on research-based criteria for 1990–91 and 1991–92 were set out in UFC circular letters 12/90 and 6/91. Funding on research-based criteria was not published as a separate figure before 1990–91. Figures are not yet available for total science base funding in 1990–91 and 1991–92 taking into account outturn data for the universities. However, as I made clear in the debate on the Select Committee's Report (H.L. Deb., 23rd May 1991, col. 373), science base funding in 1989–90 was some 16 per cent. higher in real terms than in 1979–80.