21 March 2013

million+ welcomes the emphasis on addressing inequalities in higher education in the Hefce grant allocations for 2013-14

Commenting on today’s (Thursday) grant allocations from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) Professor Michael Gunn, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Chair of the university think-tank million+, said:

“I am really pleased that Ministers and Hefce have recognised the importance of addressing inequalities in higher education through the continued provision of student opportunity funding. This funding contributes to the additional costs of supporting students from less advantaged backgrounds and helps ensure that they are successful in their university studies.”

“The monetised and non-monetised benefits arising from the investment in higher education, research and the higher education innovation fund, which Hefce has announced, far outweigh the costs to the taxpayer. However, there are still cuts in both revenue and capital spending and the switch to funding via the Student Loan Company is challenging for universities which must, at the same time, continue to invest in people, resources and estate to deliver a high quality teaching and student experience. Universities are managing this, in a time of great uncertainty, with innovation and skill.”

“The Government’s policy of hyper selectivity in research has led to a direct switch of research grant to institutions which already receive the lion’s share of research funding. It is difficult to see how this policy will sustain the health and breadth of the UK’s research base long-term. It is important that research take place in all universities so as to underpin the essential character of higher education.”

ENDS

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 Paul Drake on 0207 717 1655 or 07900 277819.

2. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will allocate £4.47 billion to 129 universities and higher education colleges and 203 further education colleges for the academic year 2013-14

3. The funding is allocated for the following key areas and activities:

a. £2.3 billion for teaching
b. £1.6 billion for research
c. £160 million for knowledge exchange
d. £280 million in capital grants
e. £149 million in special funding.

4. Further details are given in ‘Recurrent grants and student number controls for 2013-14’ (HEFCE 2013/05) which is published on Thursday 21 March.