Welsh institutions face cuts of up to 4.3%, but total Scottish pot rises 1%

All but three Scottish universities face a real-term drop in funding. Hannah Fearn reports

March 25, 2010

Welsh universities are facing cash cuts of up to 4.3 per cent next year, with every institution seeing a real-term reduction in funding.

The total allocation for universities for 2010-11, announced this week by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, is £356 million. This is almost 2 per cent less than the previous year and, when inflation is factored in, equates to a real-term cut of about 4 per cent.

Institutions in Scotland have fared better, with the Scottish Funding Council unveiling a total allocation for teaching, research and innovation of £1.13 billion, including tuition-fee income. This is a cash increase of just under 1 per cent year on year.

In addition, Horizon funding for knowledge exchange and related activities will increase by £129 million in 2010-11, pushing up total funding by 1.4 per cent year on year.

Yet with inflation calculated at 2 per cent, this is equal to a real-term cut of 0.6 per cent.

The allocations come a week after the Higher Education Funding Council for England announced that 99 out of 130 English institutions would see a real-term cut next year.

The Welsh allocations include a new Strategic Implementation Fund, accounting for 20 per cent of the grant. The pot was set up at the request of Leighton Andrews, education minister for Wales, and is focused on Welsh Assembly priorities including widening access.

While the fund accounts for a fifth of the total grant this year, HEFCW has been instructed to increase it to 80 per cent in coming years.

David Blaney, director of strategic development at HEFCW, predicted that the decline in total funding would not come as a shock to universities.

"The sector is not going to be at all surprised by these allocations. There is a real-term reduction, and every institution will have its own funding pressures," he said.

Aberystwyth University will have the biggest fall in income, down 4.3 per cent in cash terms, or more than 6 per cent in real terms. It is followed by Trinity University College, down 3.8 per cent in cash terms, and Glyndwr University, down 3.4 per cent.

The University of Wales, Lampeter is the only institution to see a cash increase, up 0.3 per cent, while Bangor University will also escape relatively unscathed, with a 0.2 per cent drop in funding. Dr Blaney put this down to its strength in areas that matched government priorities, including Welsh-language provision.

In Scotland, The Open University in Scotland will fare best, securing a 2.4 per cent increase in cash terms. It is followed by the University of Edinburgh, a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities, which will get 2.2 per cent more, and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, up 2.1 per cent. These are the only Scottish institutions not to face a real-term cut in funding.

At the other end of the scale, the universities of Stirling and Strathclyde will be the only institutions to suffer a cash-terms cut, down 3.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.

Both universities had poor results in the 2008 research assessment exercise, and were given a one-off "transitional grant" of about £1 million from the SFC last year to help them cope with the subsequent cut in quality-related research funding.

Mark Batho, chief executive of the SFC, said the number of student places north of the border was being held at the same level as 2009-10.

He said: "We're planning so that we don't create an artificial spike in the number of students in case our resources take a hit in future years."

He added: "Maintaining high-quality teaching and learning in Scotland's universities has been at the forefront of our minds this year when making decisions about our allocations for university funding."

Scotland: percentage change in general fund grants 2009-10 to 2010-11
Institution Teaching 1 Research 2 Total 3 Percentage change
University of Aberdeen47,138,000 19,930,000 87,621,841 1.3
University of Abertay Dundee 16,342,000 678,000 23,291,602 0.3
University of Dundee 47,713,000 20,024,000 82,767,428 1.8
University of Edinburgh 77,683,000 70,706,000 185,487,215 2.2
Edinburgh College of Art 6,494,000 1,023,000 10,050,554 0.2
Edinburgh Napier University 48,758,000 2,153,000 65,976,847 0.6
University of Glasgow 83,545,000 42,135,000 160,453,139 0.9
Glasgow Caledonian University 56,344,000 2,157,000 76,456,490 0.7
Glasgow School of Art 7,514,000 1,511,000 11,725,861 0.5
Heriot-Watt University 24,426,000 9,615,000 44,572,386 0.1
The Open University in Scotland 18,809,000 — 24,133,350 2.4
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 12,295,000 608,000 17,575,433 0.7
Robert Gordon University 36,032,000 2,235,000 49,743,914 1.1
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama 3,451,000 163,000 5,019,638 2.1
University of St Andrews 18,863,000 16,170,000 45,754,707 0.8
University of Stirling28,793,000 5,358,000 44,662,005 -3.3
University of Strathclyde 60,092,000 16,006,000 101,331,435 -0.2
UHI Millennium Institute 18,915,000 1,682,000 25,834,608 0.7
University of the West of Scotland 54,553,000 873,000 69,389,588 1.5
Total 667,760,000 213,0,000 1,131,848,039 0.9
Notes: 1 Main teaching grant; 2 Research Excellence Grant; 3 General Fund grant total, not including Horizon Fund but including tuition-fee income

Wales: percentage change in grant funding 2009-10 to 2010-11
Institution Teaching Research 1 Widening accessTotalPercentage change
Aberystwyth University 22,755,678 7,509,040 379,075 31,800,634 -4.33
Bangor University 22,342,3847,633,930 354,362 32,062,905 -0.24
Cardiff University 65,866,76639,449,507 825,867 110,376,786 -1.74
Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies —354,713 —354,713 -2.37
University of Glamorgan 46,054,160 3,026,416 1,902,588 52,334,456 -1.85
Glyndwr University 13,990,006 294,554 405,322 15,064,963 -3.40
Swansea Metropolitan University11,380,075 255,426 485,992 12,444,400 -0.76
Swansea University 26,471,913 12,443,951 724,623 41,4,095 -1.93
Trinity University College 7,422,299—142,082 8,170,889 -3.82
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff25,794,685 1,488,265 608,942 28,649,280 -1.89
University of Wales, Lampeter 4,391,318 895,824 2,361 5,847,828 0.32
University of Wales, Newport 15,452,563 549,730 980,082 17,496,626 -2.66
Total 261,921,848 73,901,356 7,081,296 355,877,574 -1.99
Note: 1 Quality-related research funding

hannah.fearn@tsleducation.com

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