Ground-breaking discoveries with the power to change our world

Our universities will be globally competitive centres of research.

They will be at the forefront of making ground-breaking discoveries and creating solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Universities UK will:

Secure a long-term strategy and funding models that enhance the competitiveness of UK research, grow talent and increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Ensure our universities and researchers remain international collaborators of choice, growing and attracting global research investment and talent.

Make sure our universities can dedicate their research expertise to accelerating the world’s response to the climate crisis and the transition to net zero.

Increase understanding of the vital contribution that university-based research makes to individuals and the world.

2030 challenges
and opportunities

The world’s most pressing problems

This decade will likely see an acceleration of some of the most pressing challenges the world is facing: the climate crisis, an ageing population, global inequality, and digital disruption, not to mention unpredictable challenges such as disease and geopolitical instability. Our universities are amongst the best places in the world to find solutions to these challenges. They need the ability to plan long term and work internationally to respond more effectively.


chance that one of the next five years will be the warmest on record

1 in 6

people globally will be aged over 60 in 2030

Maintaining international competitiveness and collaboration

The high quality, impactful, and collaborative research that happens in our universities will unlock solutions to some of the challenges the world faces. Our world-leading reputation makes the UK an attractive partner of choice in international collaboration. As the volume and impact of other nation’s research increases, the UK must secure and maintain its world-leading reputation for excellence in research and collaboration, so that our universities can continue to attract the talent and partnerships needed to address today’s most significant problems.


university research submitted for assessment was considered world-leading or internationally excellent


in the world for research outputs in 2022

With thanks to Anglia Ruskin University, Brunel University London, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Coventry University, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Nottingham Trent University and the Royal College of Art for supplying images.

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