Academic innovation in our universities must be allowed to flourish, says UCU

5 July 2006

The salaries and status of UK academics must be improved if UK universities are to continue to be at the forefront of innovation.

UCU joint general secretary, Sally Hunt, commenting on a new book released today celebrating major discoveries by academics at UK universities over the past 50 years, said:'Our universities command respect the world over because of the expert level of teaching, research and support that staff provide, often against considerable obstacles and with inadequate resources. In many cases academics stay in their area of expertise despite the fact they could be earning much higher salaries in other jobs they are more than qualified to do. The worry now is that DNA, for example, would not have been discovered because Crick and Watson would have been moved on for failing to come up with the goods within the timescales demanded by the RAE.

'Our academics must be given the necessary time and resources if the UK is to continue to be at the forefront of innovation, UK universities must back up their words with action to improve the salaries and status of university staff.'

Universities UK today launched the new publication, 'Eureka UK', which highlights 100 major discoveries, developments and inventions by academics at universities throughout the UK.

Last updated: 15 December 2015