Letter: Shameful assembly (2)

April 6, 2001

The £265 million announced for Welsh higher education is only part of an overall recurrent grant of £286 million for the academic year 2001-02, to which should be added capital expenditure of £25 million. This amounts to a rise of 4.1 per cent in cash terms on 2000-01.

This is not the same as the increase provided by the National Assembly for the financial year 2001-02 since an academic year spans two financial years. Looking ahead, academic year 2002-03 (the first year in which research assessment exercise 2001 will need to be funded) will draw funds from financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04. The modest increases for those years that have been provisionally identified by the assembly, pending the outcome of its review, have inclined the council to caution in drawing funds from financial year 2002-03 into academic year 2001-02.

Since the grant letter, the minister for education and lifelong learning has reaffirmed the government's commitment to a ten-year strategy for expansion in Wales and has invited officials of the assembly and the funding council to work together over the next month so that a further statement can be made. That is now under way.

Philip Gummett
Director of higher education
Education and Learning Wales

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