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Stop savage university research funding cuts, union tells Chancellor

23 March 2021 | last updated: 24 March 2021

The government must immediately reverse savage cuts of £120m to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) projects, said UCU.

UCU was responding to the cuts to the Official Development Assistance funding for UKRI projects, which will initially lead to a £120m shortfall for research programmes in 2021-22.

In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, the union said the scale of the cuts is unprecedented and the enforced cancellation of existing international research projects represents a massive breach of trust on the part of the UK government.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'These cuts undermine the UK's role in combatting the world's most pressing challenges such as infectious diseases, food security and climate change. Unless they are stopped, they would also lead to job losses, with early career staff particularly badly affected.

'UCU calls on the UK government to immediately reverse these savage cuts to UKRI funding and to work with the research community to ensure that the UK can continue to play a leading research role in tackling global challenges.'