Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Chemistry and Physics Units 'Deep in the Red'

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Chemistry and Physics Units 'Deep in the Red'

Article excerpt

The financial state of UK university chemistry and physics departments has improved, but the "substantial deficits" run by most make sustained public funding "vital", according to a report.

The Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Physics report, published on 5 November, is based on 2012-13 data and updates a previous report based on 2007-08 data.

Looking at figures gathered from departments at 10 UK universities, it finds that financial deficits were 20.6 per cent of income on average in chemistry departments and 18.8 per cent on average in physics departments.

The report, titled The Finances of Chemistry and Physics Departments in UK Universities: Third Review, comes as the government works on its spending review, to be presented on 25 November. In England, teaching grant for high-cost subjects, or strategically important and vulnerable subjects (SIVS), is regarded as potentially being a target for cuts, while the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will also have scrutinised the £4.6 billion UK-wide research budget as it seeks savings.

The report says that while there have been improvements in the finances of chemistry and physics units since 2007-08, most "still run at substantial deficits in their main activities of teaching and research". …

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