Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Winners and losers in uni funding

Graduation day

A small rise in funding for higher education in Wales has been announced, but some institutions will see a cut.

Grants of 433.8m, up 1.66%, will be made by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) for 2009/10.

Aberystwyth University will receive around 1.5m more, but Lampeter will have its grant cut by 9%.

The grant allocations take into account the results of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008, which examines the quality of universities' research.

Grants cover spending on teaching, research, capital and special initiatives.

HEFCW said it had increased core funding for research in response to steering from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Professor Philip Gummett, chief executive of HEFCW, said: "We expected a tight financial environment for public spending in Wales and, within this context, we are pleased to see continued substantial public investment in higher education.

"We were delighted to see a strong research performance from Wales in the research assessment exercise and are pleased to be able to increase overall research funding by 3.9%.

University of Glamorgan: up 3.15%
Aberystwyth University: up 4.74%
Bangor University: down 2.57%
Cardiff University: down 1.29%
University of Wales, Lampeter: down 9.13%
Swansea University: up 10.27%
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff: up 1.94%
University of Wales, Newport: up 1.50%
Glyndŵr University: up 2.25%
Swansea Metropolitan University: up 2.49%
Trinity University College: up 0.77%
Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies: up 47.5%
Source: HEFCW

"Looking now to the future, the challenge is to ensure that our funding is used to support sustainable excellence in research."

Ben Gray, president of the National Union of Students (NUS) in Wales said universities needed more time to plan ahead.

"I think universities would like a bit more advance warning of what their funding's going to be - I don't think six months is long enough.

"You look at a 1.6% rise and the fact they've just paid most academic staff a pay rise in excess of 5% and you can start to see the sums just aren't adding up.

"The gap is not going to be sizably reduced by a 1.6 % rise in the overall funds," he said.

Roger Thomas, chairman of HEFCW, said higher education institutions gave "far more back to the economy of Wales" than the public funding they received.

"Through the development of a highly skilled workforce, the production of knowledge, and the application of that knowledge, higher education arguably forms the bedrock on which recovery from the current economic circumstances will be based in Wales," he said.

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