Next week sees the opening of a 4-month consultation period during which higher education institutions in the United Kingdom will have chance to respond to Gareth Roberts' report, published last week, on the future of research assessment and funding allocation in the United Kingdom.

The opening event is a conference organized by Universities UK, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), and the Standing Conference of Principals. Margaret Hodge, minister of state for lifelong learning and higher education, will be the keynote speaker and is widely expected to reaffirm the government's intent to concentrate research in fewer institutions and to grant university status to teaching-only institutes.

This tendency toward concentrating research in centers of excellence is one of the main themes to be reflected implicitly in the recommendations of Roberts' report.

The report was commissioned by the four UK funding councils with the aim of appraising the Research...

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