Following the release of the SNP’s draft budget for 2015 to 2016, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) have announced that the HE budget would be £1,041 million as opposed to the value of £1,062.5 million stated in the initial budget.
SFC is the public body within the Scottish Government that allocates public funds to Scotland’s universities and colleges, which includes both teaching and research grants. It invests over £1 billion in higher education (HE) in Scotland.
Since the academic session 2012-2013 the SFC has outlined a set of outcomes it expects higher education institutions to achieve
in return for the sectoral funding.
According to Scottish Government records, in 2012-2013 the SFC grant accounted for 23 per cent of St Andrews’ total income.
£14 million of the proposed £21.5 million cut will be taken from the Global Excellence Fund. This initiative, which was envisioned to better the reputations of Scottish universities on a global scale, will lose the entirety of its funding at a time when the research carried out in Scotland is having more success than ever before.
Since 2008 the amount of research by the higher education sector in Scotland that has been classed as ‘world-leading’ has doubled. Within the UK, a recent survey found that 85 per cent of university research in Scotland was considered to have “an outstanding or very significant impact on wider society and the economy.”