Key points from the Autumn statement relating to universities:
- The BIS budget will fall by £3.4 billion over the next five years, with the savings coming from “switching HE maintenance grants to loans” and “asking universities to take more responsibility for student access”; as well as other measures on energy company taxation, efficiency saving and savings in adult skills.
- “Science funding of £4.7 million will be protected in real terms”. Of this, £1.5 billion will go to a “Global Challenges Fund”
- The teaching grant will be cut by £120 million by 2019-20
- HEFCE will be asked to reduce the student opportunity fund and to target the funding it has on “institutions with the most effective outcomes”
- The rate applied to student loans will rise to 0.7% above RPI.
- Maintenance loans will be made available for part-time students; the availability of tuition fees will be widened and the age cap on loans for post-grads will be lifted.
- Tuition fees will be introduced for nursing and midwifery courses.
- The Government has confirmed that it will set up Research UK, as recommended by the Nurse Review