26 June 2013

million+ comment on spending review

Commenting on the Chancellor’s Spending Review which will set limits for departmental expenditure in 2015-16, Professor Michael Gunn, Chair of the university think-tank million+ and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Staffordshire said:

“It is clear that Vince Cable and David Willetts have fought hard to restrict the cut in the BIS budget to 6%”.

“Only yesterday the OECD confirmed that investment in higher education brings very good returns for individuals and for the economy and is one of the best safeguards against unemployment”. 

“It is disappointing that the Treasury has not recognised the long-term benefits of investing in teaching where a restoration of capital budgets is badly needed”.

‘‘While the Chancellor’s emphasis on science is welcome it also comes at a price. How BIS and HEFCE manage these cuts will be a litmus test of the Government’s commitment to social mobility. Any cut in student success and widening participation funding would certainly be a backward step”.

ENDS

Notes to Editors
1. For further information or to arrange an interview with Professor Michael Gunn please contact Pam Tatlow on 0207717 1655 or 07795645241.
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information about million+ can be found at www.millionplus.ac.uk
3. In higher education, student maintenance grants will not increase with inflation in the 2015-16 academic year saving £60 million. Teaching grant will be reduced by £45 million with HEFCE given responsibility for ‘re-prioritising’ teaching grant spend.
4. £4.6 billion will be spent on maintaining resource funding for science in cash terms and £1.1 billion on maintaining capital spending on science in real terms; £185 million of additional resource funding will be provided for the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to ‘support innovation, including Catapult Centres and the Biomedical Catalyst.
5. The National Scholarship Programme will be cut by a third to £50m and refocused to support postgraduate students from ‘disadvantaged backgrounds’ but universities will have to bid for NSP funds and provide additional scholarship funding.