Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, has come out swinging in defence of federal funding of research and universities, saying that funding remains at an unprecedented level.


"This Government has invested more than $43.2 billion in core university funding from 2008 to 2011-that's a 50 per cent increase on the previous four years under the Howard government," Senator Evans said.


"In the four years from 2012 to 2015 we will invest a further $58.9 billion-that's $30.1 billion in additional funding for universities, more than double the level of funding under the last four years of the Howard government.


The announcement comes after the Federal Government announced a temporary halt to research funding as it prepared the release of its Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Revue (MYEFO) last week.


The suspension, which was lifted in a matter of days, drew widespread condemnation from the educational and research sector.  


But Senator Evans said that there had been no changes to the level of grants allocated to the Australian Research Council and Cooperative Research Centres.