Research & development: UCU commentary

Science and research are seen as key to all the major parties, but there is little consensus about an increase in funding or specifics on long term visions. There is also little about arts and humanities research in any of the manifestos, although the Greens do flag the importance on humanities subjects, describing them as having been ‘endangered by a systematic denigration’ by both political parties and university administrations.

Whilst all the major parties are committed to continued funding for the science research budget, there is less in terms of specific funding announcements, although the Conservative have put forward a figure of £6.9billion and the Liberal Democrats have confirmed that the budget would be ring-fenced.

Labour have said they will introduce a ‘long term funding policy’ to enable companies and research institutes to succeed and the Green party have outlined plans to increase public spending on science research to 1% over the next ten years.

The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour have all pledged support for ‘catapult centres’ which have been set up across the UK to promote research and development collaboration, jointly funded by the public and private sector.