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12 January 2004
EP 01/2004

Grant funding and student numbers for 2004-05

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills has announced funding and student numbers for higher education for 2004-05. His letter to HEFCE (Higher Education Funding and Delivery 2004-05) is available.

We welcome the recognition of the work carried out by the Council and the higher education sector on delivering the strategic objectives in key policy areas. We look forward to making further progress in collaboration with our partners.

We also welcome the acknowledgement of the achievements in reducing bureaucracy and reinforcing local autonomy and accountability. We will do all we can to continue reducing bureaucracy in the future.

The letter confirms the additional funding and growth in student numbers announced in January 2003. Total institutional funding will increase from £6,406 million in the 2003-04 financial year to £6,928 million in the 2004-05 financial year (excluding Access and Hardship funding and the costs of capital and depreciation). This represents a cash increase of £522 million, or 8.1 per cent, although universities and colleges will be expected to deliver additional activity for these extra resources.

Student numbers for 2004-05 also take account of the additional foundation degree places that we expect to allocate in response to recent bids.

The HEFCE Board will consider the contents of this letter on 22 January and a further announcement will be made after that meeting.

Following the HEFCE Board meeting on 22 January, a further announcement on funding for universities and colleges 2004-05 was made on 26 January.