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The cost of teaching the additional students will be funded by HEFCE in 2010-11. In subsequent years higher education institutions (HEIs) are expected to support the cost without additional government funding by making efficiency savings – for example, through restructuring, or investment in new IT systems or facilities.

Savings through shared services

The remaining £20 million of the UMF will be spent on investment in key areas that will deliver significant efficiencies, benefiting HEIs and releasing additional resources for teaching and research. Universities and colleges will be invited to bid for these funds.

More students to study STEM subjects

In April 2010, HEFCE invited HEIs to shift the balance of their teaching provision towards vulnerable science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and modern foreign language subjects, starting in 2010-11. This initiative was in part a response to the increasing demand for STEM subjects from prospective students (Note 3). Following a bidding process for a share of almost £4 million to cover the costs of teaching more students in those subjects, 1,712 full-time equivalent places will be moved over in 2010-11.

Sir Alan Langlands, HEFCE Chief Executive, said:

'Universities and colleges are demonstrating their responsiveness to economic and workforce issues, by making savings and focusing more of their provision on subjects which are strategically important and vulnerable. This is another demonstration of how higher education is responding positively to the urgent need to improve efficiency and reduce public spending while supporting the economy and society.'

Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, said:

'The additional funding will enable a further 10,000 students to begin their studies this coming summer. There will be more students at English universities than ever before.

'At the same time universities – in common with all other publicly funded bodies – are being asked to find efficiency savings, which will help to get the nation's finances back on track. The £20 million investment in shared services that we are making will facilitate this.'

The allocation of additional places via the UMF and move to vulnerable STEM subjects to each university and college are available in Annexes A and B respectively.


Notes

  1. The University Modernisation Fund (UMF) was announced in March. It was established to respond to two imperatives: enabling more young people to enter higher education to gain skills that the economy needs, and supporting higher education institutions in taking robust action to increase efficiency and reduce cost over the medium term. Details of the bidding process for the UMF are given in HEFCE Circular letter 08/2010.
  2. A list of the places awarded under the UMF is available at Annex A.
  3. See HEFCE Circular letter 06/2010- Support for moving full-time undergraduate numbers into strategically important and vulnerable subjects (SIVS) in 2010-11, issued on 1 April 2010. A list of places awarded under this initiative is available at Annex B.
  4. These changes and the baseline reduction in the grant will be reflected in the final grant allocations due to be published in July.