Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
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Allocation of additional student numbers 2010-11

 Allocation of additional student numbers 2010-11: update on competition

1.We wish to update higher education institutions and further education colleges on our progress in assessing proposals and allocating the 2,000 additional student numbers (ASNs) for 2010-11 that we have available through competition.

2.The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills wrote to the Council in May this year setting out the consequences of the Budget for higher education. In that letter he authorised us to support 10,000 additional funded student places for academic year 2010-11.

3.We wrote to institutions in September 2009 (‘Additional student numbers for 2010-11’, HEFCE Circular letter 22/2009) setting out the number of ASNs we had available for 2010-11 and how we would allocate these ASNs.

4.We had already allocated 4,002 ASNs for 2010-11 following ‘Allocation of funds for additional student numbers in 2009-10 and 2010-11’ (HEFCE Circular letter 05/2008), and our Board approved 3,498 ASNs in September for projects previously funded through our Strategic Development Fund to support their sustainability. The Board also agreed to set aside 500 ASNs for emergency priorities. Our Board agreed that we should allocate the remaining 2,000 ASNs through a call for proposals, and details of the call were set out in Circular letter 22/2009. Proposals were invited focused on two key criteria – subjects identified as strategically important and vulnerable, and selected health subjects.

5.Institutions were asked to submit proposals to identified lead contacts in each of our institutional teams by 26 October 2009. Proposals not submitted in the manner specified, submitted after the deadline date or not meeting minimum quality thresholds (such as fit with the criteria for the competition) will not be assessed. Our institutional teams are in contact with institutions about any proposals that we cannot assess.

6.As we expected, demand for these ASNs is high and we have many proposals to process. We have received 112 proposals from institutions bidding for around 7,500 ASNs. As this is substantially more than the 2,000 ASNs we have to allocate, most of these bids will be unsuccessful.

7.We are now assessing proposals through the established processes of the Strategic Development Fund. Final decisions on allocations will be made by the HEFCE Chief Executive. Given the high demand in the competition, we are operating strengthened procedures in decision-making, with the inclusion of external challenge to our processes, and oversight by the Council’s Strategic Development Fund Panel. We are on track to meet our original deadline and make decisions by the end of 2009 and notify institutions as soon as possible thereafter.

8.Any enquiries about this message should be directed to the relevant HEFCE regional consultant or HEFCE higher education policy adviser (HEPA). Contact details can be found at www.hefce.ac.uk under About us/Contact us.

9.No action is required by institutions at this time.

HEFCE, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, BRISTOL BS16 1QD
tel 0117 931 7317, fax 0117 931 7203, e-mail hefce@hefce.ac.uk
 

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