Changes to funding from 2017-18
In March 2017, the HEFCE Board announced further decisions for supporting widening access and successful student outcomes (HEFCE Circular letter 06/2017). This included:
National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP)
Funding for the four-year NCOP will remain at £60 million per calendar year for the first two years. The Board has now confirmed that the total for the 2017-18 academic year is also set at £60 million.
Widening access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds
We are discontinuing the formula-based widening access targeted allocation, and supporting investment in widening access solely through the NCOP from 2017-18. This allocation totalled £54 million in the academic year 2016-17.
Premium to support successful student outcomes
The improving retention for full-time and part-time students will be replaced by the ‘Premium to support successful student outcomes’ from 2017-18, recognising full-time and part-time students.
The premium for full-time undergraduates will total £195 million for 2017-18, a reduction of £20 million compared with the previous allocation for improving retention for full-time undergraduates.
90 per cent of this total will be provided through the main element that reflects risk of non-continuation based on students’ entry qualifications and age. The balance will be provided through the supplement that also recognises students from Participation of Local Areas (POLAR 3) quintiles 1 and 2.
The premium for part-time undergraduates is being maintained at £72 million for 2017‑18. This combines the previously separate targeted allocation of £8 million for part-time undergraduates with the £64 million provided in 2016-17 for improving retention for part-time undergraduates.
Disabled students’ premium
The improving provision for disabled students allocation will become the ‘Disabled students’ premium’ from 2017-18 which is being maintained at £40 million.
For 2017‑18, the targeted allocation will reflect students in receipt of the Disabled Students Allowance, weighted at 2, and other students self-declaring a disability, weighted at 1, both of which are taken from HESA and Individualised Learner Record data.
The Board has also now agreed that year-on-year changes to the allocation for individual institutions will be capped at ±£100,000, with a view to maintaining a degree of stability for this funding as institutions transition towards more inclusive models of support.