The funding is allocated for the following key areas and activities:
- £1.6bn for research
- £160m for knowledge exchange
- £1.6bn for teaching
- £440m in capital grants
- £143m for national facilities and initiatives funding.
- Research funding is maintained in cash terms. HEFCE will continue to fund research selectively, focusing on world-leading and internationally excellent activity. Support for universities undertaking research funded by charities or business and industry will also be maintained at current levels (£198m and £64m respectively).
- Knowledge exchange between universities and business continues to make a significant contribution to economic recovery and growth. HEFCE are supporting universities in their work with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), which are playing an increasingly prominent role in strategic planning for local growth. Knowledge exchange funding, which supports a wide range of high-performance knowledge-based activity, is maintained at £160m.
- Teaching funding: In 2014-15, the third year of the transition to the new funding arrangements for higher education, HEFCE teaching funding is increasingly aimed at meeting the costs of teaching that cannot be covered by tuition fees alone: support for widening access and student retention; high-cost subjects; and small and specialist institutions. The most significant changes to this year’s allocations for teaching reflect the continuing shift from the old to the new funding regime. HEFCE’s funding for teaching incorporates a reduction of around 5.9% in cash terms.
- Student number control: In response to the Chancellor’s 2013 autumn statement, we have allocated up to an additional 30,000 full-time undergraduate student places at HEFCE-funded universities and colleges for 2014-15. This is a precursor to the removal of student number controls in 2015-16 at HEFCE-funded institutions.
- Postgraduate education: Around £130m will be allocated to support postgraduate study in 2014-15. Postgraduate research is supported through the £240m research degree programme supervision fund. These sums are the same as in 2013-14. HEFCE are also testing ways of supporting progression into taught postgraduate education in England through pilot projects at more than 40 universities through the £25m Postgraduate Support Scheme.
- Capital funding totals £440m. This includes:
– £160m for the third year of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund which, with double-matched funding from private sources, will bring total investment to at least £480m.
– £106m for the Research Capital Investment Fund
– £129m for the Teaching Capital Investment Fund.
– In addition, there is a welcome £200m for science and engineering capital for teaching which will be doubled through matched funding, to be allocated in 2015-16.
- Catalyst. promotes excellence and innovation in higher education by funding initiatives which support economic growth or lead to significant changes in key areas such as efficiencies, student engagement and success, and learning and teaching. The fund will also, where necessary, support universities and colleges in managing the transition to the new funding arrangements while ensuring no detriment to students.
Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “Public funding is experiencing continuing constraints, and the higher education sector is no exception. The cuts to teaching funding and the continued cash standstill in research funding will hurt universities. They come at a time of considerable change in higher education.
“The HEFCE Board has made some difficult decisions, balancing several competing interests. We are asking the sector to do more with fewer resources, but, with care, the reductions are manageable.