7 February 2013

million+ comments on HEFCE funding letter 2013-14 which reveals ‘loss’ of graduates and investment in higher education

In a letter to Vice-Chancellors published today (7 February) the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) has written to Vice-Chancellors outlining how it intends to fund universities in 2013-14, the second year of the Government’s reforms to higher education funding in England.

The university think-tank million+ has said that the rapid transition in funding regimes revealed by the letter illustrates the extent to which universities are being required to manage ‘a revolution’ in funding but that the downturn in the number of full-time students and the significant fall in the number of part-time students will mean that the Treasury will lose out as a result of these ‘lost’ graduates.

The think-tank also describes the fall in capital investment as a ‘lost’ opportunity to boost economic activity.

Pam Tatlow Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+ said:

“Hefce’s allocations for the funding of higher education in 2013-14 undoubtedly seek to inject stability but the scale of the revolution in funding that the government is requiring universities in England to manage in a very short time-scale is all too obvious.

“Direct investment in university teaching will fall by almost £1 billion in 2013-14 as a result of the move to fund universities via student loans.

“The allowance for inflation is limited to 1% and investment in research will flat-line. This all adds up to a further cut in real terms.

“The capital funding for teaching will fall to an all-time low of £59m and is a real lost opportunity and was an obvious area for Treasury investment to stimulate growth and activity in the economy.

“The confirmation by Hefce that there are likely to be 28,000 fewer full-time students studying at university in 2012-13 than the Treasury assumed and that there is a significant fall in part-time students will impact on university finances. In the long-term the Treasury will also miss out from the added value that these ‘lost’ graduates would have brought to the workforce and society”.


Notes to Editors
1. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk. For more information please contact Jean Candler, Head of Public Affairs on 0207 717 1659 or 07900 277 819.
2. The letter from Hefce to university and college leaders can be found here.