Chartered ABS report on research income for Law – 2013/14 to 2018/19

The Chartered ABS has published its second annual briefing on research income in the field of Law. This analysis covers the period of 2013/14 to 2018/19 and is based on data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

The key findings are summarised below and the full briefing can be found here.

Overall trends

  • In 2018/19 UK Law schools received £25.3m in research funding which is 3% higher than a year ago and 39% higher compared to five years ago.
  • Over the last year there were increases in funding from the Research Councils (+£1.7m) and EU government bodies (+£750k), which together offset falls in funding from several other sources, including UK-based charities (-£500k), UK central government (-£500k), and other UK sources (-£300k).
  • In 2018/19 UK sources represented 64% of all research income for the subject of Law, EU sources 25%, and non-EU sources 11%, with little change compared to last year. Over the longer-term the share of funding from UK sources has fallen from 72% in 2016/17 and the share of funding from EU sources has declined from 29% in 2014/15. The share of total funding from non-EU sources has grown from 6% in 2014/15 to 11% in the current year.
  • In absolute terms the funding received from all EU sources in 2018/19 of £6.5m is 24% higher than in 2013/14 and the amount of £2.7m received from all non-EU sources is 65% greater than in 2013/14.

Comparison with other subjects

  • Over the five year period of analysis the total research income for Law grew by 39% in nominal terms, compared to a 28% increase in funding across all subject areas.
  • The proportional increase in research funding for Law is higher than for several STEM subjects, although Civil Engineering (+43%) and Physics (+60%) received higher increases over this period.
  • If adjusting for inflation Law schools saw a 23% real-term increase in research income over the last five years, compared to 14% across all fields. The growth in research income for Law of 39% in nominal terms since 2013/14 is higher than for several other Social Science subjects, including Business & Management Studies, Sociology and Economics & Econometrics.

Research income by region

  • In the last year the share of total funding for research income in Law received by institutions in London and the South-East increased from 32% to 36%. This remains lower than the 40% share for institutions in London and the South-East five years ago.
  • Since 2013/14 the regions recording the biggest proportional increases in research funding for Law were Yorkshire and Humberside (+185%), West Midlands (+184%), the East of England (+78%), Northern Ireland (+74%) and East Midlands (+49%).
  • Over the last five years there were only two regions that saw a decline in research income in Law: the South-West (-32%) and the North-East (-26%).

Research income by Law schools

  • Over the combined three year period of 2016/17 to 2018/19 the five schools that received the highest amounts of research funding for Law were: The University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, Queen Mary University of London, The University of Oxford and Middlesex University.
  • Research income for Law shows a tendency towards distribution within a certain group of institutions, with the five schools receiving the highest amounts of research income in the last three years accounting for 36% of total research funding. The ten schools with the highest amounts of research income comprise 54% of the total.