The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

1994 Group university research lobby disbands

The research lobby split this month, following half its members leaving

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A lobbying group for research-instensive universities has disbanded.

The 1994 Group, formed to defend the interests of smaller institutions, came to an end this month, after 19 years.

The Board released a statement explaining the closure, “The 1994 Group has come to a natural end point. This was not an easy decision to make, but we feel sure it is the right one for the future.”

The group was founded to lobby for research funding from the government for smaller universities, when the Russell Group, composed of larger universities, was created in the same year.

Twenty-two institutions made up the 1994 group, including University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), until its merger with Victoria University of Manchester in 2004. The newly newly-formed University of Manchester subsequently joined the Russell Group.

The London School of Economics left the group in 2006 and the University of Warwick followed suit in 2008.

In 2012, 7 universities withdrew their membership.  4 of these universities, including Durham University, University of Exeter,  Queen Mary University of London and University of York went on to join the Russell Group.  In 2013, the University of Reading left, reducing the Group to 11 members.

The Board added, “The Group was founded at a time of real change within the sector and so it comes to end at another point of significant change.

“Collectively, we have taken the decision to bring the 1994 Group to an end, because as institutions we have expanded and changed over time to the point where the need for the Group as originally constituted no longer exists.”

Additional collaborations “on specific projects and issues” may continue in future between universities.

UK higher education institutions make up other groups which include University Alliance, GuildHE and Million+.