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Reforms to research and higher education risk “unprecedented” interference, UK scientist warns

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5589 (Published 17 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5589
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The UK government’s radical shake up of research and higher education risks eroding institutional autonomy and academic freedom, a leading UK scientist has warned.

Stephen Curry, professor of structural biology at Imperial College London, warned that proposals set out in the Higher Education and Research Bill would expose universities to an “unprecedented level of interference” from politicians.

But other eminent UK scientists argued that the bill—which is currently being debated in parliament—would actually give UK science a greater influence on government and allow it to push for an increase on the “pitiful” amount of funding it currently received.

The bill sets out a series of changes designed to make it easier for new providers from the private sector to enter the higher education sector, to …

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