Government funding for 2015/16

HEFCE has announced some important decisions about how it will allocate government funding for higher education for the next academic year.

These include:

Research funding

  • Total research funding will be maintained at £1,558 million.
  • The proportion of funding allocated to research judged to be 4* quality will increase at the expense of funding for 3* research.
  • In the REF 2014 exercise, the amount of 3* and 4* research across the sector increased by 39%, so HEFCE funding for research will be spread more thinly.
  • The amount of Leeds research assessed as 3* and 4* increased by 23% overall: less than the sector increase.  This means that Leeds’ share of research funding is expected to decrease.
  • HEFCE is to remove protection for funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research.  However, for 2015/16 only, it will allocate £28 million of transitional funding to ensure that no institution sees a drop in funding as a result of this decision.

Teaching funding

  • Total teaching funding will be £1,418 million: £244 million lower than 2014/15 as a result of the continuing transition from the old fee and funding regime to the new regime.
  • Within the overall decrease, there will be a 1.4% inflationary uplift in funding allocated to:

new regime students in high cost subjects
very high cost STEM subjects
student opportunity for disabled students
institutions with high cost distinctive provision

  • A £35 million contingency fund has been set aside to cover any growth in student numbers that follows the removal of the student number control for 2015/16 recruitment.
  • Leeds is forecasting a £6.2 million increase in teaching funding, due mainly to higher than planned student numbers recruited this year.

HEFCE has had to make some assumptions about total funding for 2015/16.  The government grant runs only until the end of the financial year 2015/16 in April 2016, leaving funding for the four months to the end of the academic year in August 2016 uncertain.  HEFCE has assumed that the 2016/17 grant covering those four months will be a flat cash grant.

The University is planning prudently for this period and is anticipating that teaching funding could be reduced by 10-20%.

You can download a detailed guide from HEFCE about how it allocates funds from the HEFCE website.

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