Press release

MillionPlus comment on Sir Adrian Smith’s Changes and Choices report

05 Nov 2019

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (5 November) commented on Professor Sir Adrian Smith’s Changes and Choices report on the design of future UK funding schemes for international collaboration, innovation and research.

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“Given there is a near-consensus that the UK should associate to the Horizon Europe programme in the 2020s I would hope that the contingency plan contained in the report remain just that. Our focus should shift to how we can supplement participation in Horizon Europe with a long-term step change in the UK’s investment in research and innovation, that goes beyond the 2.4% of GDP in the report, aiming instead for a more ambitious 3% target that matches key OECD competitors.  

“The report’s focus on ensuring that the post-Brexit ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’ is fully aligned with the research and innovation agenda - and genuinely fills the gap left by European structural funds - is crucial. We now need a commitment from all parties in their election manifestos to really shift the gear in relation to this essential investment in our future prosperity.”


  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. Changes and Choices by Professor Sir Adrian Smith is available here
  3. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  4. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  5. Modern universities: facts and stats