HEFCE’s Grant allocation for the 2010-11 academic year, released today, includes a smaller increase in recurrent funding than has been seen in recent years, and an overall reduction in funding for teaching, research and capital and other special expenditure. Commenting on HEFCE’s allocations, which distribute funding provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Alice Hynes, CEO of GuildHE, said:

“GuildHE recognises the difficulty of the task that confronted HEFCE.  This year more than ever, HEFCE has had to balance priorities across the diverse expectations of the sector. GuildHE members have been winners and losers, and some growth is still visible in the system. The choice to constrain capital will present institutions with further difficult decisions. However, we recognise that squeezing infrastructure through capital and loss of targeted allocations has allowed smoothing of the pressure on current teaching funding – probably making change manageable in the short term given forward planning. Sometimes there do, however, appear unintended consequences. This would not be a time for budget decisions which unravel past success.

”Some GuildHE institutions have fared better than others in this year’s allocations. The University of Worcester, Harper Adams University College and Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication are included among the top five largest proportional uplifts, with the University of Worcester up 13.3% on 2009-10. This is good news for students wanting to study in newer industries such as low-carbon and the creative sector. We also commend HEFCE’s strategy for funding research excellence wherever it is found. It is important to recognise research in subjects that promote and support creative ideas and deliver for these innovative new industries.”

Professor Christopher Gaskell, Principal of the Royal Agricultural College and Joint Vice-Chair of GuildHE, speaking as a College affected sharply by the cut on historic buildings said:

“The College continues to develop strongly, notwithstanding this settlement, with a significant increase in applications for its courses in 2010, courses which, focusing as they do on agriculture, the management of land and agri-business, are strategically important to this country and the world. It continues to provide an experience that is relevant and international, as it has done for the 165 years since its foundation."

GuildHE is aware that HEFCE sets a reduction threshold of either 0.8% of the previous year’s grant or £100,000, whichever is lower.  Institutions with smaller overall budgets are thus exposed to proportionally higher reductions in grant than larger institutions.  Commenting on this threshold, Professor Gaskell said:

“As a small institution, the College has not been protected by the Funding Council, as others have, from this percentage fall in its grant that follows from the withdrawal of grant for historic buildings – a situation which seems at odds with the desire to maintain a diverse sector and student experience.”

Alice Hynes, GuildHE CEO, commented on the value for many industries of niche providers and student interest in professional subjects, “We remain concerned that the Government is not providing the financial capacity to deal with the significant demand for higher education that it has stimulated. Opportunities will be further restricted by the removal of the allocation recognising work-based learning in foundation degrees.”


For more information, please contact:

Alice Hynes, CEO GuildHE,

tel. 0207 387 7711



Notes to editors

1. HEFCE’s Grant Allocation report and funding tables, showing allocations to higher education institutions and further education colleges can be found at: www.hefce.ac.uk


2. GuildHE is a recognised representative organisation within the higher education sector.  GuildHE members are among the most dynamic and fastest-growing institutions in higher education. For a list of GuildHE institutions, please click here 


3. Founded in 1845, the Royal Agricultural College (RAC) is the oldest agricultural college in the English speaking world. It is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the delivery of education, research and consultancy to industries in and relating to agriculture and the rural environment. The RAC offers programmes at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels to 1000 students from over 40 countries. Subjects include business and management, agriculture, food supply, agribusiness, equine, international rural development, wine business management, property and rural land management.