01 February 2012
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) today announces its funding decisions for higher education in England following the annual grant letter (Note 1) from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and subsequent decisions by the HEFCE Board. This announcement covers HEFCE funding for the academic year 2012-13 (Note 2).
The overall level of government support for teaching in universities and colleges is set to increase over the next few years as a result of higher tuition fee loans under the Government’s new finance arrangements for higher education. HEFCE’s grant will reduce accordingly, but our commitment to supporting high-cost and strategically important subjects, widening participation and smaller specialist institutions will be maintained.
HEFCE will invest in the interests of students and for wider public benefit. Our funding will support home and EU students in all years of study. Funding for students already in higher education will remain broadly as before. For new entrants, our funding will increasingly be focused on those costs incurred by universities and colleges which cannot be met entirely by tuition fees. We recognise the importance of postgraduate provision, and we are therefore providing additional funding for taught postgraduate students, who are not eligible for publicly funded tuition fee loans.
HEFCE is committed to ensuring a smooth transition to the new funding arrangements for higher education.
The total amount the HEFCE Board agreed for distribution for the 2012-13 academic year is £5,311 million. A breakdown is provided below.
Funding for the 2012-13 academic year is distributed across the core higher education activities (Note 3):
Taking account of previous decisions on funding for 2012-13 and student data from institutions, the Board has made the following decisions:
A full breakdown of the elements of teaching funding is given in 'Funding for universities and colleges for 2012-13: Board decisions' (HEFCE Circular letter 03/2012).
We informed higher education institutions (HEIs) last week of their provisional student number control limits and the HEFCE Board has now agreed the distribution of places following the bidding process for the 20,000 ‘margin’. We expect to finalise the student number limits at the end of February on completion of the appeals process.
BIS continues to require HEFCE to play its part in the close control of student support costs. We will therefore adjust grants to HEIs at a rate of £3,800 per full-time undergraduate where there has been over-recruitment in 2011-12. The rate for over-recruitment in 2012-13 has not yet been announced, but universities and colleges should expect this to be at a level that represents a financial disincentive to over-recruit.
Sir Alan Langlands, HEFCE’s Chief Executive, said:
'HEFCE will continue to support a high-quality experience for students, world-leading research and progress on knowledge exchange. During a period of transition to new funding arrangements for higher education, we are confident that universities and colleges will continue to provide high standards of teaching and research which are respected around the world.
'We will invest on behalf of students and the public to improve the quality and diversity of provision, including support for smaller, specialist institutions. We will continue to support strategically important and vulnerable subjects, and to contribute to widening participation initiatives, so that all those with the potential to participate in higher education have the opportunity to do so.
'We welcome the Government’s recognition of the importance of postgraduate provision. As the grant letter requests, we will review participation levels for this group of students as part of our wider remit to monitor the impact of the reforms. In the meantime, we will provide additional funding for teaching postgraduate students who commence their studies from September 2012.
'The grant letter from BIS asks HEFCE to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements. We aim to strike the right balance between continuity and change. We will limit financial volatility for institutions, and keep administrative burden to a minimum. We will continue to respect institutional autonomy, and we remain strongly committed to the principles of opportunity, choice and excellence.'
Page last updated 31 January 2013