Press release

million+ responds to 2015-16 HEFCE Annual Grant Letter

30 Jan 2015

Responding to the publication of the Annual Grant letter from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which sets out details of the government’s grant to the Higher Education Funding Council for England for the 2015-16 year, Professor Michael Gunn, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Chair of million+, said:

“It is disappointing that Ministers want to apply new metrics to prove the value of widening participation funding. The Student Opportunity Allocation is vital and now the only resource which government provides to support the teaching of students who need additional help to succeed. The recent data from UCAS showing that students from affluent backgrounds are 2.5 times more likely to apply to university than those from disadvantaged areas means that government still has much more to do.”

“While the statement about funding excellent research wherever it is found is welcome, the proof of the pudding will be in the allocations themselves. Bearing in mind that the Higher Education Innovation Fund has not been increased and will be lower in real value terms in 2015-16, there is a real risk that research funding will become even more concentrated.”

“The next government will have to think seriously about how translational research is supported and how the role of universities in supporting small and medium sized businesses can be boosted.”


Notes to Editors
1. For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Rochelle Owusu-Antwi, Press and Communications Officer, million+ on 020 7717 1658 / 07527 336 795 or email
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at
3. The full Annual Grant Letter can be found on HEFCE’s website here.