Response to OfS consultation on 2021/22 recurrent funding

07 May 2021

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities, committed to maintaining an outstanding teaching and learning experience as well as world-leading research. We teach a quarter of the UK’s undergraduates, including four out of five doctors, half of all physical scientists and mathematicians and a third of postgraduates. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the OfS’ consultation on additional funding for 2021/22.

Graduates with skills in medicine, science, technology and engineering will be crucial in both preserving the nation’s health and encouraging economic regeneration after the pandemic. While the Russell Group welcomes the uplift in funding for these degrees in the 2021/22 recurrent funding, it is unfortunate that this has been achieved at the cost of London weighting and cuts to subjects such as music and the performing arts, which are integral to supporting skills in the UK’s creative industries.

Despite the uplift proposed to Price Groups A and B in the 2021/22 recurrent grant, these courses are still facing deficits on a per student per year basis of £2,460 for medical students and £1,940 for STEM subjects. The cuts proposed for 2021/22 will also see subjects in the new C3 Price Group face average deficits of £2,780 per student per year. It is possible that another unexpected increase in student numbers for 2021/22 could exacerbate these deficits further.

Uncertainty surrounding this year’s admissions, coupled with the coming demographic uplift in eighteen-year-olds, means an overall increase to the funding envelope for teaching is needed to ensure our universities are able to continue providing a world-class education. As the Government prepares for the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year, we would encourage the OfS to work with them to develop an ambitious and sustainable approach to funding high-quality university teaching across the curriculum.

Read the full consultation submission:

Response to OfS consultation on 2021/22 recurrent funding

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