HL Deb 13 June 2002 vol 636 cc51-2WA
Lord Walton of Detchant

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In view of their commitment to increase medical student numbers, what action they propose to take to reverse the redundancies of clinical academic staff in London's medical schools resulting from financial cuts imposed by the Higher Education Funding Council. [HL4306]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland)

Publicly planned funding for higher education in England will increase by £1.7 billion over the six years to 2003–04—an increase of 18 per cent. in real terms. In 2001–02, for the first time over a decade, funding per full-time equivalent student has increased in real terms. Within that, the additional costs of teaching the new medical student places announced by the Government is fully taken into account.

The Higher Education Funding Council distributes funding for research according to the quality ratings arrived at through the research assessment exercise, so that the best research receives the most funding. Where the volume or the quality of research falls, then the funding decreases. The outcome of the research assessment exercise held in 2001 has therefore led to some redistribution of research funds between higher education institutions, with some institutions gaining as much as 36 per cent. but others losing resources on the basis of the relative quality of their accounts.

The Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council are monitoring the implementation of the new medical places and will assess whether shortages of clinical academic staff are an issue.

Forward to