Cuts Watch #144: University and Further Education College Funding
Government funding for most English universities and further education colleges is being cut. Compared with last year, funding for 51 universities is being cut in cash terms, while a further 58 are seeing their grant increased by less than 3.5 per cent (the current rate of CPI inflation); only 21 are receiving above inflation increases. 51 English FE colleges are also having their budgets cut in cash terms and another 31 in real terms; 41 see real-terms increases.
In January, the Higher Education Funding Council for England announced the 2010-11 grant. This was substantially cut, to £7,291 million from with £7,809 million in 2009-10.
In March, £270 million provided through the University Modernisation Fund partially reversed this cut.
- In June, the new government announced that this was being reduced to £118 million.
- In addition, HEFCE’s baseline funding for institutions was cut by £82 million.
- And there was a £2 million (11 per cent) reduction in HEFCE’s own administrative costs.
There are plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings here. Essentially:
- In January, the last government cut funding by £518 million.
- In March, they reduced the cut, to £248 million.
- In June, the new government increased it again, to £450 million.
It is therefore true, that the new government is not cutting funding by as much as the old government planned in January, but also true that they are cutting by more than it planned in March.