Spending Review 2013

Key take home points from the spending review released today are that department for BIS is down 5.9% in general spend and regard to capital growth, BIS CDEL rises by 8.7% in real terms (excluding financial transactions). Other important issues raised in the paper include reforms to national scholarship funding scheme and further commitment from the government to deliver its ambition’ of a world leading research base for science and innovation. 

Spending Review 2013

Reforming higher education funding.

Reforms to higher education funding will generate annual savings of £3 billion by 2014–15 and place higher education spending on a more sustainable footing. Despite concerns that these changes would discourage students from poorer backgrounds, at the January application deadline for 2013 entry, the proportion of 18-year olds from the most deprived neighbourhoods applying to go to university was at its highest rate ever. 

The government’s Spending Review includes plans to cut the National Scholarship Programme from £150m to £50m in 2015–16. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says that the scholarship scheme is not being scrapped. But funding will be for postgraduate rather than undergraduate students.

A Department for Business statement says it will refocus” the scholarship programme to support postgraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds”.

Science and innovation

To ensure that the UK has the facilities to develop its world class research base and meet the Government’s ambition of being the best place in the world to conduct scientific research, the Spending Round commits to:

maintaining resource funding for science in cash terms at £4.6 billion in 2015–16, as well as providing additional resource funding of £185 million for the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to support innovation, including Catapult Centres and the Biomedical Catalyst; increasing science capital funding in real terms from £0.6 billion in 2012–13 to £1.1 billion in 2015–16, and in line with inflation to 2016–17. The Government has increased capital spending on science over the course of this Parliament by £1.4 billion above the amount committed at Spending Review 2010, enabling significant investment in projects including autonomous robotics, Big Data, and major upgrades and new facilities at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus; and providing long-term stability for science infrastructure over the next Parliament, to maximise the potential of the UK’s world-leading scientific excellence.

The Government will:

set an overall science capital budget which grows in line with inflation each year to 2020–21; extend the Research Partnership Investment Fund (RPIF) to 2016–17, making available at least £100 million each year of match-funding to leverage private investment in science infrastructure; and commit to funding high-priority projects, including the Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) and a new supercomputer for the Met Office.

Source: HM treasury 2013 Spending Review