The grant letter (Note 1) sets out Government funding and priorities for HEFCE and for higher education. It confirms a level of funding of £3.5 billion, largely unchanged from the indicative allocations announced in March 2016. It also sets out indicative allocations for the financial year 2018-19.
The letter emphasises the importance of higher education to this Government. It asks HEFCE to continue to focus its funding on activities outlined in our 2016-17 grant letter that support economic growth and delivery of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. There is additional funding to support the development of new government priorities; university collaboration in technology commercialisation, the Institute for Coding, and funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund.
Teaching funding priorities remain the same: HEFCE has been asked to continue to protect, in real terms, the total amount of funding for high cost subjects (including STEM), and, as far as possible, look to protect funding for widening participation and small and specialist institutions with world-leading teaching. In addition, the letter asks HEFCE to build on its current successful collaboration with the Department for Education and the Department of Health on the healthcare reforms undertaken in the last year. This includes HEFCE assuming responsibility for funding pre-registration courses in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions.
The HEFCE Board will consider funding decisions for academic year 2017-18 in early March. We expect to announce capital grant allocations by the end of March and recurrent grant allocations to individual institutions in April.
1. All HEFCE's annual grant letters can be read on the HEFCE website. The finance annex to the 2017-18 grant letter shows that HEFCE will have a total of £3.5 billion to distribute for the 2017-18 financial year, and sets out funding for higher education in terms of recurrent and capital funding for education and research. Allocations are expected in early March by Government of the £4.7 billion over the period to 2020-21 of additional funding for research and development announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement. This funding is not therefore reflected in the total for HEFCE in the grant letter. The grant letter indicates the expected profile of the £100m university collaboration fund in technology transfer, including £15 million for 2017-18. This funding will be confirmed separately.
2. The 2017-18 HEFCE grant letter attaches, for information, a letter the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation has sent to Universities UK regarding tackling anti-Semitism on campus.