Oxbridge windfall

A large amount of the cash awarded to humanities postgraduates still goes to the "Golden Triangle" of Oxford, Cambridge and London, British Academy figures reveal.

But the University of Sussex pipped King's College, London, for the third highest number of grants last year from the Academy's Humanities Research Board.

Cambridge and Oxford feature prominently in the allocations, even allowing for the different staff numbers in the relevant departments. But City University, with only four awards, tops the table with a rating of 3.07, meaning that it got three times as many awards as it would if they had been distributed proportionately to numbers of staff. Next are Cambridge (130 awards, rating 2.46), Sussex (49 awards, 2.41), King's College London (47 awards, 1.91) and Oxford (140 awards, 1.85). Scotland and the new universities are omitted from the analysis.

"One concern is that a large proportion of grants go into the so-called Golden Triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London," said board member Nigel Vincent, professor of linguistics at Manchester University. But the board could not override the wishes of individuals on choice of institution.

The board has also released data on its research leave scheme, which funds staff wanting time to finish a major project, provided their institution matches the money awarded. Some 470 bids have been received from 83 institutions, and 116 awards made to 42 institutions.

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