Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

United Kingdom: investing in research and strengthening higher education cooperation with Indonesia

New developments indicate the United Kingdom (UK) is continuing to strengthen its position in science and research investment and in establishing new international higher education partnerships.

On 30 October, the UK’s Universities and Science Minister, David Willets, announced seven new university-business research partnerships. These partnerships will be developed in the framework of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UK RPIF). The UK RPIF was set up last May and is managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It was first launched as a programme worth GBP 100 million (approx. EUR 124 million) of public funding, but due to the large number of high-quality proposals the government has increased its support to GBP 300 million (approx. EUR 373 million). All the projects submitted must include private funding from the industry or charitable sector worth at least double the amount of public funding.

The seven new partnerships are centred in the areas of life sciences, energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing, and add up to other seven partnerships already in place. These 14 successful projects will be funded with GBP 220 million (approx. 274 million) of public money and GBP 600 million (approx. EUR 747 million) of private funds. The bids for the remaining GBP 80 million (approx. EUR 99 million) allocated by the government will be announced shortly. Overall, the UK RPIF programme will result in research investment from public and private sources amounting to GBP 1 billion (approx. EUR 1.24 billion).

New international higher education partnerships have also been announced this month. On 1 November, David Willets and Indonesia’s Minister for Education, Mohammad Nuh, signed an agreement to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of education, research and skills development. The agreement outlines eight partnerships between UK and Indonesian universities and a new UK-Indonesia scholarship programme, which will support up to 150 doctoral students to go to the UK each year. The partnership agreement involves the UK’s universities of Oxford, Newcastle, Cranfield, Northumbria, Nottingham, Southampton, the Open University and the Nuffield Department of Medicine. On Indonesia’s side, the partnership will involve the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Universitas Indonesia, the Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universitas Bina Nusantara, Universitas Muhmmadiyah Surakarta, the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Universitas Terbuka and the Faculty of Medicine of Universitas Indonesia. These partnerships will focus on a wide range of initiatives, from setting up joint undergraduate and graduate programmes, to the development of research. The areas covered in the partnership are also quite diverse, ranging from interior or industrial design, to engineering and technology or health research. This UK-Indonesia partnership is expected to be worth over GBP 50 million (approx. EUR 62 million) to the UK higher education sector over five years.

HEFCE Department for Business, Innovation and Skills