Speaking about the higher education white paper laid before parliament today, Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said:
“The white paper appears to strike a good balance between recognising what is strong in the current system and where improvements can be made. It is good news that the autonomy of the individual Research Councils, Innovate UK and QR funding, as well as a focus on excellence, remain at the heart of government plans. The emphasis on improving strategic decision making and supporting even greater cross disciplinary research is also welcome.
“The establishment of UK Research and Innovation, alongside other changes proposed in today’s white paper, could help strengthen the UK’s already outstanding research sector and its contribution to the UK’s economy, and hopefully ensure a strong voice for science with Government.
“We are also pleased that the Government have recognised the need to take a measured approach to the introduction of a new Teaching Excellence Framework that is subject specific and informed by sound evidence.”
Following the announcement of the appointment of the chair of UK Research and Innovation, Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, added:
“We welcome the appointment of John Kingman as chair of UK Research and Innovation. In appointing him the Government have identified someone with an understanding and appreciation of the excellence of UK science and innovation and its contribution to the UK’s economy. He has long brought this insight to bear at the Treasury and we look forward to working with him to ensure that science’s voice is heard at the heart of government. We also look forward to working with him and the board of the new body to help the UK scientific community continue to flourish and deliver substantial benefits to the country in the process.”