The principal of the University of Glasgow has called on the Scottish Government to do more on research funding amid "worrying signs".

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli pointed to a disparity between the level of grant income allocated to universities in England compared to their counterparts north of the border.

The economist said Scottish universities could struggle to compete with those in the south-east of England if the issue isn't addressed.

Writing in The Herald, Mr Muscatelli said: "There are worrying signs of declining competitiveness.

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"While Scotland continues to do well in securing funding from the UK’s major research funder, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), data suggests Scotland's share of total UKRI C grant income to universities has gradually declined over the past decade. While the UK Government has increased its spend on R&D and grown UKRI’s overall budget, this has not been echoed to the same extent in Scotland.

"From 2016/17 to 2022/23, the combined total of research and university innovation funding in Scotland provided by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) increased by only 7%, well below the equivalent Research England core funding streams which increased by around 30%.

"This puts us at a real disadvantage when it comes to our ability to compete with heavyweight research institutions from across other parts of the UK. We need a level playing field in terms of core research and innovation funding in order to leverage more research funding from UKRI and other major UK research funders.

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"When additional funding is announced for English universities via Research England, in general the Scottish Government receives corresponding funding through the Barnett formula – these uplifts need to be passed on in full to the SFC.

"Given the right tools, resources and support, our universities are able to unlock investment, and in turn use this to create jobs and stimulate inclusive growth for Scotland. At present we’re working with a much smaller toolkit than our colleagues in England and this is having an impact on our overall ability to keep pace with our peers in the so-called 'golden triangle’ in the southeast of England."