Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Deeper and Down: Direct Funding Shrinks Further under Reformed Regime: News

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Deeper and Down: Direct Funding Shrinks Further under Reformed Regime: News

Article excerpt

English higher education institutions have been informed of their shares of direct public funding for next year, with the allocations at some new universities being cut by around 40 per cent yet again as the new fees and funding system takes fuller effect.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England published on 21 March its provisional funding allocations for universities and colleges in 2013- 14.

The total recurrent grant allocation for higher education institutions - consisting of funding for teaching, research and third-stream activities - falls 18.1 per cent to Pounds 3.95 billion.

The announcement also details the award of 5,000 student places to institutions under the government's scaled-back "core-and-margin" system, which this year offers additional places rather than reallocating ones top-sliced from universities.

Nottingham Trent University is the biggest winner under the system, with 333 extra places.

Hefce has also published details of over-recruitment fines for universities in 2012-13.

Fines for the nine higher education institutions that over-recruited totalled just Pounds 802,735, down from Pounds 21 million the previous year - a figure reflecting the sharp drop in student numbers in the first year of higher tuition fees.

The identities of the institutions fined may show some of those faring best in recruitment terms under the new system.

The University of Northampton was hit by the biggest fine, Pounds 179,686, although it exceeded its student number cap by only 26.

De Montfort University and the University of Bedfordshire also received some of the larger fines.

Perhaps surprisingly, Russell Group member the University of Sheffield was also among those penalised.

In 2013-14, the A-level grade threshold at which universities can recruit unlimited numbers of students will drop from AAB to ABB.

At a press conference announcing the grant allocations, Hefce representatives explained that they had taken 30,000 places from the sector's undergraduate number control to provide these places. …

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