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The grant letter (note 1) sets out Government funding and priorities for HEFCE and for higher education. It confirms a level of funding of just over £4 billion, essentially unchanged from the indicative allocations announced in February 2014. This includes an increase in capital funding of £163 million compared to 2014-15 (a £146 million increase in teaching capital and a £17 million rise in research capital). The grant letter does not provide an indication of funding levels beyond financial year 2015-16.

The letter recognises the key role of higher education in driving economic growth, and asks us to focus our funding allocations on activities that support delivery of the Government’s Science and Innovation Strategy. There is additional funding to support two new government priorities; the development of an engineering conversion pilot broadly defined, and a review of accreditation of Computer Science. The letter recognises the high quality results of the Research Excellence Framework as justification for ongoing investment in this area.

Teaching funding priorities remain the same; HEFCE is asked to continue to protect, as far as possible, funding for high cost subjects, widening participation, and small and specialist institutions.

Grants for individual universities and colleges will be published on 31 March.

Notes

  1. HEFCE's annual grant letter from BIS sets out HEFCE's allocations for funding higher education, and the Government's priorities for the coming year. All HEFCE's annual grant letters can be read on the HEFCE web-site.
  2. The letter confirms an extra £1 million for HEFCE to work with engineering professional and regulatory bodies to develop an engineering conversion pilot, and an extra £0.5m to support independent reviews into the accreditation arrangements for computer science and other subjects which could benefit from review.
  3. Annex 2 to the grant letter shows that HEFCE will have a total of £4,010 million to distribute for the 2015-16 financial year.
  4. Annex 2 also sets out funding for higher education across recurrent and capital funding for education and research.