Russell Group responds to OfS consultation on public grant funding

24 May 2024

Responding to the Office for Students’ (OfScall for evidence on public grant funding, the Russell Group has today (24 May) set out the principles it believes should underpin the OfS’ approach to course-based and student-based funding. 

The Russell Group recommends a formula for course-based funding that meets the average cost of delivering provision. If the required uplift to support this is not available, we would favour a mechanism that prioritises funding certain activities at average cost which is predictable in the long-term, over one that only partially supports all types of provision. This will support forward planning and enable universities to be more efficient, reduce the cost of delivery, and support innovations that ultimately benefit students. 

On student-based funding, the Russell Group recommends a more joined-up approach with other initiatives that aim to boost equality of opportunity, and a shift to multi-year recurrent funding models, operating on a three-to-five year cycle, to allow institutions to plan strategically how they support students deemed most at risk. 

The response also calls for: 

  • A medium-to-long term roadmap to support the sector in delivering the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan 
  • A tighter focus on access, success and progression for student premium funding, to support under-represented or at-risk students 
  • The prioritisation of capital funding to maintain, upgrade and improve existing core facilities 

Lily Bull, Policy Manager for the Russell Group, commented:

"We welcome the OfS’s approach in consulting the sector at this early stage on how public grant funding is managed. In a financially constrained environment, it is important funding is prioritised effectively and we build predictable long-term funding models, so universities can plan ahead with confidence instead of responding to yearly changes – allowing them to evaluate, adapt and maximise efficiencyThis response outlines our preference to see certain areas of provision, prioritised by government ambitions, funded at an appropriate level rather than many areas each being underfunded".

Find more details in the summary of the Russell Group position on the OfS's approach to public grant funding.

Summary response to OfS on public grant funding

Principles for course-based and student-based funding. 


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