Part-time postgraduate support scrapped in Wales

Institutions face losing up to a quarter of their total funding council grant as cuts from Welsh government bite

May 23, 2016
Cutting daffodils back
Source: Alamy

Funding council support for part-time postgraduate study in Wales has been scrapped in the wake of government spending cuts.

The £6.5 million fund that was in the past distributed to universities annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales was removed after the Cardiff government reduced the organisation’s budget by £11 million.

In total, Hefcw plans to allocate £132.3 million to institutions in 2016-17. The amount of quality related research funding remains unchanged for the fifth year in a row at £71.1 million, while support for postgraduate research training, part-time undergraduate provision and higher cost full-time undergraduate courses stays largely the same year-on-year.

However, Hefcw warned that institutions could face a further in-year cut if the Welsh government withholds as much as £21.1 million of its 2016-17 budget. Ministers have said that they would use this to fund any increase in the cost of the tuition fee grant that subsidises Welsh students’ undergraduate studies in Wales and in the rest of the UK.

This is currently budgeted at £236.7 million but, if it went over this, Hefcw says that it would be forced to make further cuts to support for expensive undergraduate courses and, potentially, research and part-time funding.

Welsh institutions have expressed concern about the amount of funding that is being used to support students being charged £9,000 tuition fees at English universities.

David Blaney, Hefcw’s chief executive, said that the review of student finance in Wales being led by Sir Ian Diamond would “be critical to informing a future policy that provides a sustainable balance of investment between Welsh students and Welsh higher education providers”.

The loss of support for part-time postgraduate study means that some Welsh universities face significant percentage cuts in their total Hefcw funding. Cardiff Metropolitan University is set to lose 25.7 per cent of its grant (£623,000), while Glyndwr University will lose 20.4 per cent (£803,000).

The biggest loser in absolute terms is Cardiff University, which will see its funding reduced by £2 million (3.4 per cent).

“I cannot stress it enough: government expenditure on higher education is not just a cost, it is an investment in the future of Wales,” Dr Blaney said. “Universities are employers, educators, influencers and investors. Successful universities are an essential part of a strong and prosperous nation.”

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham