Research income for business schools – report published

Research-report WEB

Research income for Business and Management has fallen 8.2% since 2010/11, the latest figures published by the Chartered ABS show. In real terms this equates to a decrease of 19%. In contrast, total research income for higher education institutions as a whole has increased by a third from £4.4 billion to £5.9 billion.

The biggest fall in research income has come from UK sources which has seen a drop of over 19% (28.4% in real terms) between 2010 and 2016. These sources include the research councils and central government. In the same period, STEM subjects received increases of between 15-30% in funding.

The annual Chartered ABS report on ‘Research Income for Business & Management’, which analyses the latest HESA data, found that research income from international sources have grown overall for the period. However, EU sources of research income fell in 2015/16 after a period of steady growth. The EU referendum came at the end of that year so it is unlikely that Brexit will have been a causal factor. Views from our members after the referendum showed that Brexit was already having an impact on EU research funding and collaboration, so this will need to be closely monitored.

Our analysis points to some signs of green shoots. Research income from industry sources in the UK and from outside the EU has shown some growth. We also highlight opportunities for the sector to align its research expertise in innovation, business growth and trade with the government’s objectives for R&D funding and national productivity contained within the Industrial Strategy and the £2bn National Productivity Investment Fund.

Professor Simon Collinson, Chair of the Chartered ABS, said: “Business and Management research already adds value to current grand challenges facing the UK, including the need to improve productivity, innovation and export competitiveness. However, with a real term funding decline of 19% Business and Management research is currently underfunded, relative to its scale, impact, and its potential contribution to these national challenges. Business schools, as anchor institutions working across universities, already connect our STEM assets and capabilities with large and small enterprises, the market and users, transforming invention into applied innovation. We can do more to add value to the national industrial strategy and contribute to regional growth if funded appropriately.”

The report was launched at the Chartered ABS Annual Research Conference, in Birmingham on 29th March.

Download the report here.