Leading article: Strategic funding

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The Independent Online

Oxford University has opened up a new front in its battle for reform: the method for allocating money to colleges. Until now, funds have been distributed according to how many undergraduates they teach. The new proposal is to reward colleges that invest in research, and in overseas and postgraduate students. There would be immediate winners and losers. Rich colleges such as All Soul's and Nuffield will do well under a system that would effectively transfer money from the poor to the rich. To this effect, a working party is proposing a 10-year easing-in period. That may seem cumbersome, but could be the only way to secure a more rational funding system.