When will we know how much money HEFCE has to spend?

Posted on December 13, 2010 by

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In answers to a few recent parliamentary questions, David Willett’s has mentioned that the government’s annual grant letter to the Higher Education and Funding Council for England (HEFCE), confirming what HEFCE’s budgets will be for 2011-12 and setting out some objectives for how they should spend them, will be out before Christmas.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Southport of 25 November 2010, Official Report, column 405W, on higher education: finance, what estimate he has made of the funding each university will receive from (a) the public purse and (b) tuition fees in each of the first five years following the implementation of his proposals for higher education funding and tuition fees; and if he will make a statement. [29080]

Mr Willetts: Grant allocations to higher education institutions (HEI) are for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) within the overall funding made available by the Department. HEFCE’s funding for 2011-12 will be published in its annual grant letter before Christmas this year. Funding for subsequent years has not yet been determined. The level of tuition fees is for individual HEIs to determine. They have not yet set the fees for academic year 2012/13 or subsequent years.

Following this, HEFCE will publish their provisional budget allocations around March time.

Background

This process repeats every year:

The 2010-11 government grant letter from Peter Mandelson was sent on 22 December – available here.

HEFCE’s 2010-11 provisional budget allocations published on 2 February 2010 are here. This gives details of how HEFCE are provisionally intending to distribute  money among higher education institutes. This includes detail on the amount allocated to Quality-Related Research funding and how this will be allocated, in 2010-11 announcing that £198 million was to be allocated to Charity Research Support Funding.

HEFCE published their final budget allocations – detailing the grant allocations each individual institution will receive – on 18 March 2010 – here.

Why is this interesting to medical research?

Medical research charities are watching this carefully as the publication of HEFCE’s provisional budget allocations will be when they find out how much money has been allocated to Quality-related Research (QR) funding, and in particular to the charity-support element of this – known as the Charity Research Support Fund or CRSF – through which the government partners charity funders to support the full costs of research in universities. Medical research charities spend around 80% of their money in universities (see the breakdown here), so this partnership funding underpins a considerable amount of research. For more background on the Charity Research Support Fund, what it is, how it works and why it’s so important for charity funders check out the joint statement here which has a really good Q&A.

Posted in: Policy