- Russell Group
name = Russell Group
type = Association of UK universities
membership = 20
key_people = Dr Wendy Piatt (Director General)
Professor Malcolm Grant (Chairman)
website = http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/
The Russell Group is a collaboration of twenty UK universities that receive two-thirds of universities' research grant and contract funding in the United Kingdom. [ [http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk Russell Group: Home ] ] It was established in
1994to represent their interests to the Government, Parliament and other similar bodies. It is sometimes referred to as the British equivalent of the Ivy Leagueof the United States. [ [http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,9830,852052,00.html Can an Ivy League work here? | higher news | EducationGuardian.co.uk ] ] The Russell Group contains many of the United Kingdom's leading universities with 18 of its 20 members in the top 20 in terms of research fundingFact|date=February 2007. Nineteen smaller research universities formed the 1994 Groupin response. Critics of the Russell Group have suggested that the high priority placed on research ratings has led to a lowering of teaching quality.Fact|date=June 2008
In May of 2004, Russell Group Universities accounted for 65% (over £1.8billion) of UK Universities' research grant and contract income, 56% of all doctorates awarded in the United Kingdom, and over 30% of all students studying in the United Kingdom from outside the EU. [cite web|url=http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk|title=The Russell Group Homepage|accessdate=2006-09-11] In the 2001 national Research Assessment Exercise, 78% of the staff in Grade 5* departments and 57% of the staff in Grade 5 departments were located in Russell Group Universities, [cite web|url=http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/index1.html|title=The Russell Group Homepage|accessdate=2006-09-11] and in 2004/5 Russell Group Universities were allocated approximately 64% of the total quality-related research funding (QR) allocated by the Funding Councils. [cite web|url=http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/index1.html|title=The Russell Group Homepage|accessdate=2006-09-11]
The Russell Group states that its objectives are to:
* lead the UK's research effort;
* maximise income for its member institutions;
* attract the best staff and students to those institutions;
* create the regulatory environment in which it can achieve these objectives by reducing government interference; and
* identify ways to co-operate in order to exploit the universities' collaborative advantage.
It works towards these objectives by lobbying the UK Government and Parliament; by commissioning reports, research and
opinion polls; and by creating a forum in which the universities can discuss issues of common concern and identify ways to work together.
The group is chaired by Professor
Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of University College London. Dr Wendy Piattwas appointed in January 2007 as Director General. Formerly, she worked as Deputy Director in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and as former head of education at the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR). [ [http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/profile/story/0,,1946846,00.html Wendy Piatt: The vice-chancellors' new velvet glove | Higher | EducationGuardian.co.uk ] ]
The group's Director of Research is Libby Aston a former advisor to the Select Committee for Education and Skills, specialising in higher education policy. She has also worked at the Higher Education Funding Council for England from 2000 and at the Higher Education Policy Institute from its establishment in 2003 as their Senior Researcher. [ [http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/contacts/libby-aston.html Russell Group: Libby Aston ] ]
The Russell Group is so named because the first informal meetings of the Group took place at the Russell Hotel in
Russell Square, London, generally shortly before meetings of Universities UK(formerly known as "Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals", or "CVCP") in Tavistock Square.
In terms of total research funding allocations from the
Higher Education Funding Council for England(HEFCE) in 2007/8, the top 15 universities were all Russell Group institutions. [ [http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/specialreport/table/0,,2023291,00.html Hefce funding allocations 2007-08: All institutions | Higher | EducationGuardian.co.uk ] ] LSE was 21st, due to its focus on less lucrative social science research, and Queen's University, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh, were not included in this table, as they are not English institutions. The Russell Group institutions received 82% of the total HEFCE research funding allocation. [ [http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/specialreport/table/0,,2023291,00.html Hefce funding allocations 2007-08: All institutions | Higher | EducationGuardian.co.uk ] ]
It should be noted that the research funding figures depend on factors other than the quality of research, in particular there are variations due to institutional size and subject spread (i.e. science, technology and medicine tend to attract more money).
Policy on tuition fees
The Russell Group has been prominent in recent years in the debate over the introduction of tuition fees, a measure which it has strongly supported - much to the dismay of the universities'
students' unions. Indeed, members of the Group argued that even the fees proposed by the controversial Higher Education Bill would not be sufficient to cover the rising cost of undergraduate teaching, and successfully argued for the right to charge variable fees at much higher rates, so-called top-up fees.Fact|date=February 2007
In response to the Russell Group's support for tuition fees (and other issues), the students' unions of the member universities formed the
Aldwych Groupas a parallel organisation to represent the common interests of their students.
The current membership of the Group is: [cite web
title = Russell Group: Home
url = http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/
accessdate = 2008-01-22 ]
University of Birmingham
University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
Imperial College London
King's College London, University of London
University College London, University of London
University of Leeds
University of Liverpool
*London School of Economics and Political Science,
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Nottingham
Queen's University Belfast
University of Oxford
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
University of Warwick
*Golden Triangle – group of UK universities
1994 Group– group of smaller, research-led British universities
Million+(Formerly known as Campaigning for Mainstream Universities– group of the ex- polytechnics)
University Alliance– formerly the "Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities"
Aldwych Group– group of Students' Unions of the Russell Group universities
* [http://www.hero.ac.uk/reference_resources/russell_group3706.cfm Information on HERO]
* [http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk Russell Group website]
* [http://www.aldwych.org Aldwych Group website]
* [http://www.ukeas.com.tw/rankings.htm 2001 research rankings for British Universities]
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