23 August 2012
Over the three years 2008-2011 leading British universities received at least £83 million of funding from UK arms companies and government military agencies, for research, courses and other activities. The information was analysed from Freedom of Information (FOIs) requests submitted submitted by Dina Rickman of the Huffington Post to the 24 Russell Group universities, which jointly claim around two-thirds of all research funding.
Of the 24 universities six refused, or were unable to supply, relevant information - Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, University College London (UCL) and Warwick. The London School of Economics (LSE) said that it did not get any military funding and Durham had only £67,000. The remaining 16 universities received a total of over £83 million, divided between UK government agencies and UK private companies.
The universities with the highest amounts of military funding were Imperial College with £15.2 million, Sheffield with £13.8 million, Cambridge with £13.8 million and Oxford with just over £9 million. Bristol received £6.5million, Nottingham just under £6million, Kings College £5.3 million, York £3.9 million, Southampton £3.8 million and Newcastle £2 million. PDF
Beth Smith, Universities Network Co-ordinator for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) says:
Arms companies fund research projects partly to ensure that certain research gets done. By partnering with arms companies universities provide them with a veneer of respectability and help them to continue their devastating work. Universities should play no role in supporting the arms trade.
Direct UK government military funding to the 16 universities totalled £23.6 million over the three years - 28% of the total. The largest recipient was Imperial College with over £7.8 million from government, mainly through the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), followed by Kings College with £5.4 million, virtually all from the Ministry of Defence. PDF
The largest share of military funding came from private companies (public listed companies), This totalled £62.8million over the three years - just under 72%. The largest recipients were Sheffield with £13.5 million, Cambridge with £9.5 million, Oxford with £8.7 million and Nottingham with just over £5 million. PDF
From available information, it appears that most private sector funding is ultimately government funding, through research and development (R & D) contracts from the Ministry of Defence and other government agencies.
By far the largest company funder was Rolls-Royce; which totalled at least £36.8 million. Rolls-Royce focused very large grants on selected universities, including Sheffield, where it paid £11.1 million, Cambridge almost £7.5 million, Oxford £6.7 million and Nottingham £4.9 million. Rolls-Royce also made large grants to Imperial with £2.9 million and to Southampton with £2.3 million.
BAE Systems funding totalled £10.6 million. In three universities it reached over £2 million - York at £2.9 million, Imperial at £2.3 million and Sheffield at £2.1 million. BAE also paid almost £1.3 million to Cambridge, £936,000 to Southampton and £716,000 to Oxford.
QinetiQ funding was directed to nine universities and totalled £3.25 million. This included £1.5million to Imperial and £737,000 to Cambridge.
For further information or an interview please contact CAAT’s Media Coordinator, Kaye Stearman on 020 7281 0297 or mobile 07990 673 232 or email press(at)caat·org·uk.
Details of funding over the last three years (2008-11) for courses, research or activities by your university from:
Public ministry bodies like the Ministry of Defence and its research arms Defence Science Technology Laboratory, Defence Evaluation Research Agency, and Atomic Weapons Establishment
Private companies, including BAE Systems, Cobham plc, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, Babcock, GKN, and QinetiQ.