The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Minister for Universities and Science have confirmed funding allocations to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for financial year 2015-16.
The grant letter sets out Government funding and priorities for HEFCE and for higher education.
It confirms a level of funding of just over £4bn, essentially unchanged from the indicative allocations announced in February 2014.
This includes an increase in capital funding of £163m compared to 2014-15 (a £146m increase in teaching capital and a £17m 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 HEFCE to focus its 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 (an extra £1m) and a review of accreditation of Computer Science (an added £0.5m). 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 2015.