Facts on funding

March 10, 2000

Your account of the funding of universities in England is misleading ("Elite capture lion's share of extra intake", THES, March 3). Hefce's grant allocations for teaching are based on funding similar activities at similar rates. This means that students can expect to get broadly the same amount of public funding for the subjects they are studying regardless of where they are taught.

Funding for research is different. Here funding is deliberately selective, with allocations made almost entirely on the basis of quality and volume, and designed to support research activity. There is no justification for adding research income to resources for teaching to work out comparisons of funding between institutions. Research funding is for research; lumping it with funding for teaching to give an average level of resourcing per student is meaningless.

Brian Fender Chief executive, Higher Education Funding Council for England

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