Dina Rickman, of The Huffington Post, submitted Freedom of Information requests to the twenty-four Russell Group universities, which jointly claim around two-thirds of all research funding.

She learnt that during the past three years leading British universities received at least £83 million of funding from private arms companies and the Ministry of Defence’s research arm from 2008-11.

Eighteen universities supplied the information but Birmingham and Warwick were amongst six who refused or were unable to supply this information.

Does this matter?

Kenyan businessman Vitalis Rugie, who studied at the University of York, thinks so: “Knowledge sharing is important, then it will be possible to trace means and ways of countering the misuse of the technology developed.”