Cash boost to widen access

March 26, 1999

Scottish higher education institutions have won a 3 per cent cash increase for teaching and a 1.5 per cent cash increase for formula grant research in the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council's Pounds 600 million allocation for the next academic year, writes Olga Wojtas.

SHEFC is underlining the priorities of widening access and technology transfer in its formula. It has boosted the main teaching grant by Pounds 14 million to about Pounds 450 million, a real-terms increase of about half a per cent, including Pounds 10 million for wider access.

Institutions that have attracted more part-time students get 500 extra full-time funded places. They include Dundee, Glasgow Caledonian, Paisley and the Robert Gordon universities.

The Pounds 1 million funding for research includes both core funding for excellence, including blue-skies projects, and funding aimed at developing centres of excellence in areas of national need. SHEFC has increased its research development grant by Pounds 4 million to Pounds 10 million. It has also committed Pounds 1 million to help institutions commercialise their research for the country's social, economic and cultural benefit. Total spending, including money for the new Arts and Humanities Research Board, will be Pounds 600 million.

The need to boost the number of Catholic teachers has meant a 12 per cent increase for St Andrew's College of Education, due to merge with Glasgow University next week. And the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama's grant is up by 9 per cent.

The greater support for formula grant teaching rather than research has led to the research-led Edinburgh University having the lowest increase, 1.9 per cent.

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