HEFCE funding allocations

06 May 2016

Commenting on the funding decisions made by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“The world-class teaching, research and innovation our universities provide requires proper levels of sustained investment. The relative stability in funding streams next year is welcome after a period of significant funding turbulence and in light of upcoming regulatory change.

“Continued acknowledgment of the need for proper funding of high-cost STEM subjects is encouraging but we remain concerned that the benefits of this could soon be eroded as there are no longer any controls on institutions offering courses in these expensive subjects. These subjects are currently underfunded and the loss our universities already make on some STEM courses will be compounded if funding per student is not at least protected in real terms.

“Our leading universities punch well above their weight even though the UK spends much less on higher education and research than our nearest rivals. These funding decisions should be seen against a backdrop of additional financial pressures from a range of sources. These include increasing regulatory costs such as the Apprenticeships levy; increasing pension and national insurance contributions for staff; substantial capital investment and maintenance costs; rising subscription fees; and ongoing costs associated with research.

“These are significant pressures on university budgets and must be borne in mind while we welcome continued investment in our world-class research and the education of our future workforce.”

Notes to editors

  1. The HEFCE funding decisions are available on their website.
  2. We estimate the current funding shortfall for teaching science, technology and engineering subjects to home and EU students is over £72 million a year at Russell Group universities in England alone.
  3. The Government’s Apprenticeship Levy will come into effect in April 2017, at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill.
  4. Staffing costs represent around 55% of all university costs, and continue to rise in real terms.
  5. Subscription costs for bodies like the Higher Education Academy and Equality Challenge Unit are due to rise from 2016/17.

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