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bullet  HEFCE welcomes renewed expansion of higher education

HEFCE PRESS RELEASE  Issued 8 December 1998  

The Council has warmly welcomed the renewed expansion of higher education and support for capital improvements, detailed in the letter from the Secretary of State for Education and Employment announcing funding for higher education in England for 1999-2000 and beyond. 

Mr Brian Fender, Chief Executive of the HEFCE, said: 

"The settlement will enable universities and colleges in this country to improve their infrastructure and enhance lifelong learning opportunities over the next three years. 

"We are particularly pleased by the priority given by the Government to increasing access and promoting quality. The DfEE is giving strong support to Council initiatives in these areas."

"This settlement goes a long way towards meeting the Government’s commitment towards 100,000 additional places in higher education by 2001-02. Many of these students will be part-time and be taking sub-degree courses."

"We shall work closely with higher education institutions and further education colleges to ensure that students receive a high quality education. This task will be greatly assisted by the settlement, which provides funding for additional student numbers at the same level as for existing students." 

"We look forward to working with the DfEE and the DTI as well as universities and colleges on the new Higher Education Reach-Out initiative to strengthen links between higher education and business. We see this as the first step towards recognising that working with  industry and the communities is a third core activity alongside teaching and research." 

"The settlement also represents a particularly good outcome for research, where the £300 million additional capital funding for research infrastructure and equipment has been confirmed." 

The Council has welcomed the fact that the Secretary of State has accepted its further advice that public funds currently allocated to Oxford and Cambridge colleges through undergraduate college fees will be   transferred to the grant allocated by the HEFCE from 1999-2000. The change will be phased in over 10 years, with modest changes year on year. 

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