Higher Education Funding Council for England

Higher Education Funding Council for England

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is a public sector body which distributes funding to support higher education teaching, research, knowledge exchange and related activities. We allocate £4.4 billion (for 2013-14) to universities and colleges in England:

  • £2,325 million for teaching
  • £1,558 million for research
  • £160 million for knowledge exchange
  • £429 million for earmarked capital grant and other special funding

Through our core funding streams, universities support activities that engage the wider world for public benefit, including activities that underpin economic growth.

Higher education and the economy

As in many other countries, the UK economy is going through a difficult transition as it addresses domestic performance, turbulence in the global economy and a competitiveness challenge as emerging economies continue to gain momentum. The Government aims to shift the economy towards greater reliance on the private sector, with a greater focus on exports, and with a more sustainable mix of industries more evenly spread across the country. Universities and colleges are key contributors to the economy – as businesses in their own right and through the impacts of highly skilled graduates, generation of new knowledge and through engagements with businesses and the wider community to help solve problems.

The higher education sector already has substantial interaction with the wider world. In 2011-12, the total value of the services which UK universities provide to the economy and society increased by 4 per cent to £3.4 billion. Particularly significant is the 11 per cent increase in activity benefitting small and medium-sized enterprises which gain a competitive advantage from their association with universities. Engagement with large businesses increased by around 5 per cent overall, including a notable rise (6 per cent) in contract research income, from £343 million in 2010-11 to £365 million in 2011-12. [1]

In addition to our core funding streams for teaching, research and knowledge exchange, HEFCE also supports developmental activity in targeted areas, such as a recent £50 million to support projects linked to economic growth. Through this funding we are supporting a range of projects, that between them, are expected to contribute to the creation of more than 500 new companies, 1,200 products and 3,000 jobs, and help contribute to more than £3 billion to the UK’s economy. [2]

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