Welsh consider capital idea

May 19, 1995

Welsh universities and colleges have been asked whether they would like recurrent and capital funding to be merged.

A consultation paper issued this week by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales sets out options for a new approach to financing spending on buildings and equipment, including a possible move to a "single, undifferentiated stream of funding".

The funding council wants institutions to consider a possible single methodology for making allocations, in the light of indications from John Redwood, Secretary of State for Wales, that he "would be ready to consider whether earmarking for capital expenditure is needed at all in future years".

His comments were made in a letter following the public expenditure settlement in December last year. The letter signalled changes in the way capital funding was to be distributed and the way it could be spent.

Under the new system, the funding council would receive a composite grant for capital and recurrent spending, and would be expected to distribute capital funding by formula.

Institutions could use capital allocations to service and repay loans for new capital projects and meet the costs of leasing.

The changes are designed to give institutions more flexible spending powers to clear a growing backlog of repairs and maintenance to buildings. But the funding council needs to decide how the new system should operate, including whether there should be earmarking or targets for capital spending, and what kind of funding formula should be used.

Even if HEFCW decides to merge the recurrent and capital funding streams, it could still retain the right to earmark funds for particular purposes such as equipment.

Alternatively, it could set targets for spending on particular elements of capital funding, which would allow institutions to move funds around more freely within their budgets.

Institutions have been asked to comment by the end of July.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Elderly woman looking up at sky

A recent paper claims that the quality of researchers declines with age. Five senior scientists consider the data and how they’ve contributed through the years

Otto illustration (5 May 2016)

Craig Brandist on the proletarianisation of a profession and how it leads to behaviours that could hobble higher education

Woman tearing up I can't sign

Schools and universities are increasingly looking at how improving personalities can boost social mobility. But in doing so, they may be forced to choose between teaching what is helpful, and what is true, says David Matthews

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration 19 May 2016

Tim Blackman’s vision of higher education for the 21st century is one in which students of varying abilities learn successfully together

Door peephole painted as bomb ready to explode

It’s time to use technology to detect potential threats and worry less about outdated ideas of privacy, says Ron Iphofen