Universities: Greater London

Department for Education written question – answered on 26th February 2021.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government protects (a) higher education in London (b) Teaching Grant in London and (c) London weighting for London’s Universities.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Education)

The Strategic Priorities Grant, formerly referred to as the Teaching Grant, plays an important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities Grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

The London weighting accounts for a small proportion of London-providers’ income. Providers in London received around £64 million London Weighting in the 2020/21 academic year, which is less than 1% of their total income.

Excellent provision can be delivered across the country. London universities will be able to benefit from the significant uplifts we are making to elements of the Strategic Priorities Grant, including the first real terms increase in years in per capita funding for high-cost subjects in Grant funding, as well as being able to bid for capital investment to support the delivery of strategic subjects.

We have also asked the Office for Students (OfS) for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

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