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Higher Education in Scotland and the UKDiverging or Converging Systems?$
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Sheila Riddell, Elisabet Weedon, and Sarah Minty

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781474404587

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474404587.001.0001

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Research Policy in Scotland and the Rest of the UK

Research Policy in Scotland and the Rest of the UK

(p.128) 8 Research Policy in Scotland and the Rest of the UK
Higher Education in Scotland and the UK

Sheila Riddell

Edinburgh University Press

Across the developed world, the UK is at the forefront of creating a competitive and marketised research system, driven by the belief that this will contribute to the overall effectiveness and efficiency of universities and the wider economy. Universities have embraced the entrepreneurial research agenda on the grounds that independently earned income provides a certain degree of freedom from ‘state dependence’. At the same time, it is evident that efforts by the state to control research activity have intensified to ensure that funded research produces practical social and economic benefits. The broad approach to university research in Scotland, and the extent to which this differs from UK research policy, is the central focus of this chapter. We discuss the way in which research featured in the referendum debate, noting areas of agreement and disagreement between the Scottish and UK Governments and the universities. In conclusion, we consider whether research policy in Scotland is consistent with the Scottish Government’s claim that higher education north of the border embodies a different set of social values from those which are found within the wider UK system.

Keywords:   Research policy, independence, Scotland, higher education, research funding

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