Welsh universities set for large funding increase

Overall funding for Welsh universities is set to increase by 13.6 per cent next academic year.

April 10, 2013

According to funding allocations for institutions released by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales today, the biggest winner will be Swansea University, which will see its funding increase by almost a quarter in 2013-14.

There should also be substantial increases at Glyndwr University (20.3 per cent); the newly merged institution, Swansea Metropolitan University of Wales Trinity Saint David (19.5 per cent); and Wales’ most research-intensive institution, Cardiff University (14.9 per cent).

Wales is introducing a similar undergraduate funding system to England: the government is phasing out central teaching grant and replacing it with student tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year.

The difference is that Welsh students only have to pay £3,575 of their fees and the Cardiff government will make up the rest.

Welsh universities are getting a funding boost in 2013-14 because the increase in fee income is outstripping cuts in the teaching grant.

Quality-related research funding is to be frozen at £71.1 million, with £40.2 million of this going to Cardiff University.

The only institution that will see its income drop in 2013-14 will be the Open University in Wales (-13.8 per cent), due to cuts in the budget for teaching part-time students.

David Blaney, the new chief executive of Hefcw, said: “We don’t expect the higher education sector in Wales to receive less [in] combined fees and public funding in the next academic year as a result of changes in the way we fund.

“Indeed, if recruitment from Wales and the rest of the UK is buoyant, there is every reason to presume income to universities can increase,” he added.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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