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HEFCE has warmly welcomed the announcement by Lord Mandelson that the Government is allocating an additional £270 million to universities and colleges in 2010-11 to support 20,000 extra student places and improve efficiency.

Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:

'We warmly welcome this timely announcement which will help to meet the aspirations of the increasing numbers of students wishing to study in higher education, as well as investing in the potential contribution they will make to the economy and society.

'This allocation will build on the measures that HEFCE is already taking to support additional places in science, technology, engineering mathematics and other priority areas. It will also enable universities and colleges to develop the range of efficiency projects they are undertaking, and we will ensure that good practice is spread across the sector.

'We shall be writing to universities and colleges next week to let them know how they can apply for these additional student numbers and at the same time demonstrate how efficiency in programmes can be achieved without reducing the quality of the student experience. We will also support institutions in improving value for money through the development of shared services, promoting collaboration and other innovative ways of reducing overheads.'