Say something very insulting about as many Russel group Unis as you can!

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bored_user:)
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#1
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#1
Go go go!!

Extra points for unis that arent as famous as Oxbridge and the London unis (eg. sheffield etc.)
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PQ
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#2
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#2
This applies to all of them:
Spending millions of pounds of tuition fee income on subsidising research damages the quality of the degrees you teach.
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mnot
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#3
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#3
Im unsure what this is, im only familiar with the Russell Group
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bored_user:)
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#4
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#4
(Original post by mnot)
Im unsure what this is, im only familiar with the Russell Group
wdym?
(Original post by PQ)
This applies to all of them:
Spending millions of pounds of tuition fee income on subsidising research damages the quality of the degrees you teach.
I just need it for a few of the many RG unis.
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mnot
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#5
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#5
(Original post by bored_user:))
wdym?

I just need it for a few of the many RG unis.
I was facetiously mocking your misspelling of Russell Group.
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EU Yakov
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#6
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#6
get a life lol
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Steve H
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#7
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#7
(Original post by PQ)
This applies to all of them:
Spending millions of pounds of tuition fee income on subsidising research damages the quality of the degrees you teach.
I'd imagine having tutors working at the cutting edge of their subject would be a bonus to teaching quality? Do you have any links to studies on this that I could read?
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PQ
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Steve H)
I'd imagine having tutors working at the cutting edge of their subject would be a bonus to teaching quality? Do you have any links to studies on this that I could read?
Research staff don't all teach. And those that do often don't teach undergraduate students.
And for what it's worth being skilled at research doesn't make you skilled or talented as a teacher.
Courses providing income in tuition fees are often not the same as the subjects that are being subsidised by those fees for research.


I'm not sure what you mean about links to studies? The policy of UK research councils is that "The principle behind Full Economic Costing (FEC) funding is that Research Organisations should indicate in their grant proposals the full economic cost of a project. We will then pay a fixed percentage of 80% of this sum"..."Research organisations, in accepting an FEC grant, undertake to provide the remaining 20% from their own resources."
https://www.ukri.org/wp-content/uplo...conditions.pdf

In 2018 as an example Manchester received £149,273,000 in research council grants. That means that Manchester used £37,318,250 of tuition fee income to subsidise the costs associated with delivering the research that those grants covered. That's the equivalent of ~4,000 UK student's tuition fees going directly into covering research costs and not going towards the costs of teaching them at all.
UCL had about the same amount of research council grant funding. Cambridge was just under £214m, Oxford just under £160m (https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-anal...nances/table-5 )

Huge tuition fee sums syphoned off to cover research costs and not being spent on teaching.
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Plagioclase
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Steve H)
I'd imagine having tutors working at the cutting edge of their subject would be a bonus to teaching quality?
Being a good researcher doesn't make you a good teacher.
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nexttime
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#10
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#10
(Original post by PQ)
In 2018 as an example Manchester received £149,273,000 in research council grants. That means that Manchester used £37,318,250 of tuition fee income to subsidise the costs associated with delivering the research that those grants covered. That's the equivalent of ~4,000 UK student's tuition fees going directly into covering research costs and not going towards the costs of teaching them at all.
UCL had about the same amount of research council grant funding. Cambridge was just under £214m, Oxford just under £160m (https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-anal...nances/table-5 )
That's not quite true though is it. I have no idea about the numbers (and obviously it would vary by uni) but universities have sources of income that aren't research grants and tuition fees. Patents, investments, alumni, etc.

Less than half of Oxford's income comes from research and teaching income https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/organisat...ce-and-funding
(Original post by Plagioclase)
Being a good researcher doesn't make you a good teacher.
True, although the more advanced your study the more true that does become.
Last edited by nexttime; 1 year ago
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Steve H
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#11
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#11
(Original post by PQ)
I'm not sure what you mean about links to studies?
Sorry, I was looking for studies that found a reduction in teaching quality as a result of tuition fees subsidising research.
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Ram Ranch
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#12
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#12
Oxford is a good back up for people who failed to get into Harvard or Yale
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PQ
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#13
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#13
(Original post by nexttime)
That's not quite true though is it. I have no idea about the numbers (and obviously it would vary by uni) but universities have sources of income that aren't research grants and tuition fees. Patents, investments, alumni, etc.

Less than half of Oxford's income comes from research and teaching income https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/organisat...ce-and-funding
I know they have other sources of income. The point is that research grants and contracts from the UK research councils are DELIBERATELY under-funded by 20% with the university supposed to source those funds from their other sources of income. For most universities that other source is from tuition fee income (in many cases specifically from international tuition fees or from UK tuition fees for classroom based subjects). Outside tuition fee income few universities have any substantial profit making activities that would provide the subsidy REQUIRED to cover the *deliberate* underfunding.

"The principle behind Full Economic Costing (FEC) funding is that Research Organisations should indicate in their grant proposals the full economic cost of a project. We will then pay a fixed percentage of 80% of this sum"..."Research organisations, in accepting an FEC grant, undertake to provide the remaining 20% from their own resources."

The sums above are the research grant and contract income for a handful of Russell Group universities - and therefore the amount that the 20% underfunding to be covered by other sources of income that they have to find.

To take Manchester in 2018/19 as an example again. The £150m made up 29% of their total income for the year. Teaching funding (tuition fees 44% and teaching funding grants 12%) made up 56% of their income, 13% came from "other sources", 1% from investment and 1% from endowments.

The 20% underfunding for Manchester is coming from their tuition fee income. Other research funding bodies (industry, charity, government) don't cover the 20% underfunding.

For UCL investments made up 0.5% of their income, donations and endowments 3%, tuition fees 38% and teaching grants 14% (so 52% of their income from teaching) and then "other income" makes up 12%.

University finances don't have huge other income sources to find that 20% from. It comes from tuition fees.
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Mr Wednesday
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#14
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#14
(Original post by PQ)
I know they have other sources of income. The point is that research grants and contracts from the UK research councils are DELIBERATELY under-funded by 20% with the university supposed to source those funds from their other sources of income. For most universities that other source is from tuition fee income (in many cases specifically from international tuition fees or from UK tuition fees for classroom based subjects). Outside tuition fee income few universities have any substantial profit making activities that would provide the subsidy REQUIRED to cover the *deliberate* underfunding.

"The principle behind Full Economic Costing (FEC) funding is that Research Organisations should indicate in their grant proposals the full economic cost of a project. We will then pay a fixed percentage of 80% of this sum"..."Research organisations, in accepting an FEC grant, undertake to provide the remaining 20% from their own resources."

The sums above are the research grant and contract income for a handful of Russell Group universities - and therefore the amount that the 20% underfunding to be covered by other sources of income that they have to find.

To take Manchester in 2018/19 as an example again. The £150m made up 29% of their total income for the year. Teaching funding (tuition fees 44% and teaching funding grants 12%) made up 56% of their income, 13% came from "other sources", 1% from investment and 1% from endowments.

The 20% underfunding for Manchester is coming from their tuition fee income. Other research funding bodies (industry, charity, government) don't cover the 20% underfunding.

For UCL investments made up 0.5% of their income, donations and endowments 3%, tuition fees 38% and teaching grants 14% (so 52% of their income from teaching) and then "other income" makes up 12%.

University finances don't have huge other income sources to find that 20% from. It comes from tuition fees.
Note of course that the 80% of FEC only is set by the UK research councils with rule sets that flow directly from the UK Government, it’s very definitely not by choice from the university side. Sure, you could give up on any non-100% FEC funding streams, and much of the university based research in the UK would simply stop, a large fraction of staff would be sacked (just about all RAs, many PhD students who help out in teaching labs etc) so there would be far less people available to teach. And of course for many technical subjects, the fees don’t actually cover the full cost of delivery for UK students either, so not a lot of “winning” going on here.

So what UK university research should we bin, all things covid, climate change, most medical research (much of that is funded by charities like CRUK and they tend not to pay full FEC either), next generation antibiotics, green energy technologies ?
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PQ
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#15
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#15
Pretty sure I didn’t imply that anyone was “winning” from the situation.

Universities that have a strategy to increase research grants and contracts at a faster rate than they’re growing student numbers (while tuition fees are capped and higher cost teaching grants have reductions each year) are consciously sacrificing teaching funding while playing off their reputation to attract students to a lower and lower quality experience.
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hotpud
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#16
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#16
(Original post by bored_user:))
Go go go!!

Extra points for unis that arent as famous as Oxbridge and the London unis (eg. sheffield etc.)
Very few students called Russel actually study at Russel Group universities. And most red brick universities are not built of red bricks.
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Mr Wednesday
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#17
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#17
(Original post by PQ)
Universities that have a strategy to increase research grants and contracts at a faster rate than they’re growing student numbers ...
And it would be lovely if it was that simple, but it’s not. UK research funding is very tightly constrained and some research councils have been flat cash (i.e. falling in real value year on year) for multiple years. Also grant success rates are always low – often 25%, and you can be banned from re-applying if you have too many failed grants, so management cannot simply say “go get more grant money”. If your institution brings in more research money, it means someone else is bringing in less, its a zero sum game across all universities.
Last edited by Mr Wednesday; 1 year ago
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PQ
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Mr Wednesday)
And it would be lovely if it was that simple, but it’s not. UK research funding is very tightly constrained and some research councils have been flat cash (i.e. falling in real value year on year) for multiple years. Also grant success rates are always low – often 25%, and you can be banned from re-applying if you have too many failed grants, so management cannot simply say “go get more grant money”. If your institution brings in more research money, it means someone else is bringing in less, its a zero sum game across all universities.
Growing research income at a faster rate than student numbers or other income sources is a specific part of the strategy for a number of members of the RG.

Yes the pot isn’t growing - the tactic is about increasing their share. And without securing another source of income every increase in research grants means more tuition fee income diverted away from teaching the students who paid.
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Mr Wednesday
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#19
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#19
(Original post by PQ)
Growing research income at a faster rate than student numbers or other income sources is a specific part of the strategy for a number of members of the RG.

Yes the pot isn’t growing - the tactic is about increasing their share. And without securing another source of income every increase in research grants means more tuition fee income diverted away from teaching the students who paid.
You seem to want a complete separation of all things teaching and research, should I start billing UG project students as soon as they walk into a lab and lay hands on equipment bought on a research grant ? Some of the kit I use for UG projects runs to many £100k. How about my RAs and PhDs contributing to teaching, right now they do that with zero pay back to the projects that fund them, so in a very real sense, my research income is paying for teaching.

In reality, teaching and research are inextricably entwined, if you try to rip them apart, both are going to suffer.

So what is your proposed “fix”, how will you get RCUK or Cancer UK to pay the full cost of a grant ?
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