Teaching grant briefing

20 December 2019

The 24 Russell Group universities train around a quarter of all students, imbuing them with the skills and ideas to enter high-value employment. Funding for teaching, especially the high-cost laboratory-based subjects, needs to be sustained and where possible, enhanced, to meet the skills needs of the UK’s future knowledge economy. How does the government invest in higher education?

The majority of funding for delivery of undergraduate courses comes via tuition fees, but a significant amount  £1.5bn – comes through grants managed by the Office for Students. These provide help, topping up existing funds which cover:

  • Teaching high-cost subjects, such as medical, STEM and lab-based courses

  • Help for disadvantaged students

  • Critical infrastructure maintenance and improvements

  • Additional costs for London universities

  • Clinical placement costs for trainee doctors and dentists

What is the future of that funding?

This briefing shows how stagnation in funding from both fees and teaching grants since 2011/12 has led to deficits across a range of undergraduate courses, from the lab to the classroom. It goes on to forecast how inflation will continue to erode funding towards 2024/5 if funding levels remain frozen.

The Office for Students is due to review the funding of teaching grants in early 2020. These grants fund courses that give people crucial skills which boost the British economy, and which Russell Group universities excel in delivering.  Government should back higher education in this area, which will help deliver the high-wage, ideas-led economy of the future.

Read the full briefing here:

T-grant briefing (December 2019)



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