Universities: Financial Sustainability

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:26 pm on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 4:26 pm, 11th February 2019

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman on the value of research and development in the HE sector. The Government are committed to spending 2.4% of GDP on R&D. Some university grants relate to Horizon 2020 and the Government have made an underwrite guarantee extension to protect all currently allocated grants. We want to work with the sector to look at how we can increase money for R&D. The return on investment is fantastic. In the space sector, for every pound spent on R&D £10 is returned, so I could not agree more that we do need to do more as a Government. We have not done more in the past to bring ourselves up to the OECD average. Universities will be at the front and centre of that.