The Government has published its annual grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The letter sets out the priorities HEFCE should have regard to when distributing funding to institutions and the efficiencies the government is asking the sector to make. It covers 2012-13, the first academic year of the new higher education funding arrangements.
Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said:
“It is important that we deliver a stable and sustainable funding environment for universities as our reforms bed in. This grant letter confirms the funding levels we signalled last year.
“This year also sees the introduction of the new National Scholarship Programme. This will play a critical role in ensuring our universities attract a more diverse range of students.”
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:
“Our universities play a vital role building the skills and knowledge Britain needs to grow. That is why we have protected HEFCE funding for research and why, despite difficult public finances, we expect the total funding available to the sector could increase by 10 per cent in cash terms as a result of our reforms.
“We are increasing the total funding available to the sector - with a projected rise from £9.3 billion in 2011-12 to £9.8 billion in 2013-14 - and our reforms will enable successful universities to expand if they wish to do so.”
“However it is also essential that the sector works collaboratively to lower their costs. Changes to the VAT treatment of shared services, lowering the cost of procurement and work to reduce the burden of data collection give universities the chance to prioritise more of their resources for teaching and research.”