HEFCE grant letter

14 January 2013

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“This settlement shows once again just how important the tuition fee income will be to universities to replace what they are continuing to lose in the teaching grant. 

“We have always recognised that the high cost of the student support package requires HEFCE to have some student numbers controls but we are pleased the Government has recognised the need for greater flexibility this year.

“The 3% margin will allow universities to exercise a bit more judgment with less fear of draconian fines. It’s also welcome news that there will be no reduction in core numbers to create the 5,000 ‘margin’ places for lower-fee courses. 

“We welcome the Government sensible move to lower the threshold at which universities can offer unrestricted places from AAB to ABB, which we have consistently argued for. Together with the other measures announced today we hope this will go some way to ending the unintended consequences of well-qualified students being unable to attend the university of their choice because of a lack of places.

“HEFCE must continue to focus its remaining funding on providing adequate support for high-cost subjects such as STEM - these are vitally important to the economy and currently under-funded.

“On research funding we are pleased the Government recognises the importance of ‘selectively funding research on the basis of only internationally excellent research, and protecting funding leveraged from external sources such as the charitable and business sectors’ as this will give the most benefit to the UK.

“However, while the Government has recognised the importance of capital investment, especially for research, HEFCE’s capital funding to institutions remains worryingly low.  Extra capital money for the Research Partnership Investment Fund has gone some way to help but reversing recent cuts should still remain a priority.”

Ends 

Notes for editors:

  • The Russell Group has been arguing for the lowering to ABB since 2011.
  • The HEFCE teaching grant has reduced 38% over two years, from £4.645 billion in 2011/12 to £2.881 billion in 2013/14. 
  • HEFCE teaching capital funding has also reduced 38% over two years, from £95 million in 2011/12 to £59 million in 2013/14.

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