As we keep hearing, in real terms undergraduate fees in England are worth less than two thirds of what they were when introduced in 2012-13.
What’s less frequently remarked on is that the cash terms value of direct teaching funding (from HEFCE and the OfS) has also dropped in that time – from £1,418m in 2015-16 (the first year when the overwhelming majority of undergraduate students were in the new, £9,000 fees, funding system) to just £1,339m for 2023-24 (this will rise to £1,407m when we get the updated specialist provider payments, and a few other bits, sorted out).
This is despite the growth in student numbers – and the number of providers in receipt of funding – over that period.
To be scrupulously fair, the total allocated by OfS has gone up by £40m (3.7 per cent) over last year. Any rise in provider income is welcome – though if we’d elected to keep the real terms value of the 2015-16 allocations we’d need £1,861m.
Here’s this year’s allocations – the main chart shows the difference in cash terms between this year and last year, and if you mouse over one of the dots you can dig into provider-level allocations via the bar chart on the side.