Echoes of England as modern Welsh institutions gain ground in allocation

New universities see more research cash, but award equals real-terms cut. Zoe Corbyn reports

March 19, 2009

Welsh universities will see a real-terms cut to their annual baseline funding.

This week, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales announced allocations of £433.8 million for 2009-10. The figure includes more than £80 million for research on the back of the 2008 research assessment exercise and more than £0 million for teaching.

Compared with the previous year, total funding increased by 0.43 per cent in cash terms, but this equates to a 1 per cent drop when inflation, standing at 1.5 per cent according to the HEFCW, is factored in.

A separate £34.6 million has been provided to support the Welsh Assembly Government's higher education strategies.

Philip Gummett, chief executive of the HEFCW, said: "Within this (financial) context, we are pleased to see continued substantial public investment in higher education."

The overall results mask dramatic changes to the funding landscape caused by the 2008 RAE - the first appraisal of Welsh universities' research strengths in seven years. Overall, research funding has risen 4 per cent, an increase half as big as the 8 per cent rise awarded to English universities.

As in England, there are big percentage gains for modern institutions at the expense of traditional big hitters such as Cardiff University.

Swansea Metropolitan University, until recently known as the Swansea Institute of Higher Education, saw the biggest percentage increase in research funding, rising 231 per cent to over £289,000.

Glyndwr University has seen its research funding increase by 166 per cent. The University of Wales, Newport, the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff also saw increases.

In absolute terms, Swansea University enjoyed the biggest rise, £3.6 million. Aberystwyth University and the University of Glamorgan both gained more than £1 million.

The biggest loser was Cardiff University, the only Welsh member of the Russell Group. It lost £2.17 million in recurrent research funding. Bangor University lost £1.1 million and the University of Wales, Lampeter's research funding was cut by £474,000 or 32 per cent.

The allocations include a boost of £6.1 million for science subjects obtained by transferring money from "other funds". Capital allocations totalling £23.75 million have been announced separately.

Welsh funding allocations 2009-10
 TeachingResearch 
InstitutionTeaching main grant*Widening accessTotal QRTotal research**Total cash change from 2008-09% change from 2008-09Total funding teaching and research (main elements) ***% change
Aberystwyth University24,242,021301,7177,518,0117,959,1641,291,0531933,238,2624.74
Bangor University22,370,421292,4257,761,0368,408,900-1,092,565-1132,141,8-2.57
Cardiff University68,010,925579,77639,599,842,610,103-2,166,762-5112,333,923-1.29
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff26,571,697451,4051,509,7191,664,463325,30624,504,5611.94
Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies00363,328363,328117,00748363,32847.50
University of Glamorgan47,488,5561,549,1103,052,3623,352,7651,036,2484553,319,8673.15
Glyndwr University14,540,397346,145298,937337,730210,78516615,594,7892.25
University of Wales, Lampeter3,702,620145,829911,638995,951-473,8-325,020,147-9.13
University of Wales, Newport 16,060,568811,595559,207573,00499,3262119,670,3431.50
Swansea University,360,887574,90712,635,21913,542,7113,584,0063642,088,04110.
Swansea Metropolitan University 11,566,557382,731252,226289,017201,78023115,291,2832.49
Trinity University College 7,867,061105,65400–-5,743,2800.77
Total269,781,7115,541,29374,461,51180,097,1393,132,3574362,309,1021.66
*Includes initial teacher training (ITT) grants awarded to the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (£4.9 million in partnership with the University of Wales, Newport) and Trinity University College (£4.3 million in partnership with Swansea Metropolitan University). **Quality-related (QR) and postgraduate research (PGR) funding only. *** ITT funds shared between partner institutions. NB The table does not include strategic initiatives, third-mission or £23.75 million in capital funding, which all form part of the “baseline” funding. Taken together and including further education colleges, this totals £433.8 million compared with £431.9 million in 2008-09, a rise of 0.43 per cent.

zoe.corbyn@tsleducation.com.

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