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Funding limbo leads to cuts for all Scottish universities

25 March 2010

All Scottish universities will see a real terms reduction in their funding for the next academic year (2010/11), according to new funding allocations released today (Thursday) by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

UCU said the allocation of funding by academic years had left the higher education sector in an unfortunate funding limbo for the next financial year. It is not clear what universities' funding arrangements are from the start of the new financial year in April through to the end of the academic year.

The union said the limbo means that an original increase in funding from the budget has now become a deficit. The overall cash increase for universities of 0.9% means a real terms funding cut of over 1% when inflation is factored in at 2% for 2011 according to yesterday's budget. Today's funding changes from the SFC do not include Horizon funding or capital funding, which makes a full comparison with previous years difficult.

Capital funding has declined by 20%, though this is partly due to funds being brought forward to previous years. Although Horizon funding has grown to £118.2 million, a 6% increase, much more of this funding is now allocated later in the year based on bids, rather than the formulaic grants announced today.

UCU Scottish Official, Mary Senior, said: 'It is disappointing and a little embarrassing for the Scottish Government, given the increase for higher education in the 2010/11 budget, that we are now in a limbo that will result in real term funding cut for all Scottish universities.

'We are astounded that the funding council has chosen to increase funding to the Horizon Fund at the expense of the core funding for universities. At a time of recession we should be investing in skills and research development, not pet projects of government and the funding council. If we are to emerge from this recession we require skilled people and innovative research not the failed business agenda that is being increasingly foisted on universities by government and the SFC.'

Last updated: 11 December 2015