Position Statement issued on behalf of the Russell Group

Funding for International Competitiveness

Friday 25 February 2000


Rising to the challenge delivered by both the Prime Minister and David Blunkett in recent speeches, the Russell Group of vice-chancellors today opened the debate on future funding options for higher education.

It concluded that the challenge facing Britainís top universities is to find a funding system which brings in additional resources to help them remain among the best in the world for teaching and research. It must also ensure better participation from under-represented groups.

The Russell Group agreed to commission a group of economists to undertake a full appraisal of the different funding options and the practical implications of their implementation. Among those to be studied are enhanced grant allocations from the State, deregulation of fees, and core funding via student scholarships.

The vice-chancellors confirmed that the only system acceptable to them would guarantee access to higher education for all students that could benefit from the opportunity, regardless of personal circumstances.

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