Responding to the 2011/12 grant allocations to institutions by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), published today, Andy Westwood, CEO of GuildHE, said:
“Overall, this is a pretty grim picture for HE in England. Further cuts on top of last year’s reduced allocations and increasing inflation add up to a tough settlement for most Higher Education Institutions in the year ahead. HEFCE has, however, done a good job to fairly apportion the reduced funds available for 2011/12, the final year before the move to a new funding regime.
“The maintenance of Widening Participation funding, although in cash terms, is welcome and this should continue to be a priority for the sector. For many GuildHE institutions this recognises the important role they play in providing access to HE for students from poorer backgrounds and hard-to-reach areas.
“HEFCE recognises that cuts of around 4 to 5% should be offset with some moderation funding. However, many small institutions unfairly sit below a threshold for receiving such help. This is not the first year that HE, or smaller institutions in particular, have seen damaging cuts, and we know it will not be the last, with deeper reductions in teaching and research grants in years to come and continued uncertainty over funding for teacher training and for healthcare professions.
“Furthermore these figures do not yet show the impact of Government policy as it increasingly shifts research funding to fewer, larger universities. The Research Councils are concentrating support and the HEFCE allocations also move funding away from smaller and specialist institutions with strong track records in research. GuildHE institutions have already seen a 20% cut in core research funding today, following on from the unjustifiable disappearance in Higher Education Innovation Funds, where smaller institutions will lose out completely. Taken together this jeopardises innovative research and vital economic growth in key sectors and regions throughout England.”
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Notes to editors
1. GuildHE is a recognised higher education representative body. Its 32 members are among the most dynamic and innovative institutions in the sector. For a list of GuildHE institutions, please click here
2. HEFCE’s recurrent grant allocations to institutions for higher education in 2011/12 are available at www.hefce.ac.uk