2.41 Higher education institutions and further education colleges receive funds from a range of sources. The main single source for all institutions is the Exchequer, through a number of bodies, chiefly emanating directly from, or via, The Scottish Office. In addition, all institutions are encouraged, and seek, to maximise their funding from external sources. Table 2.1 shows the income sources of Scottish higher education institutions in 1995-96.
its establishment in 1992, the Scottish Higher Education
Funding Council (SHEFC), as a statutory body, has
provided financial support, on behalf of the government,
for teaching, research and related activities in 21 of
the 23 higher education institutions. The Scottish Office
Education and Industry Department (SOEID) provides
support for all provision, including higher education, on
offer in the 43, of the 46, further education colleges
and the Scottish Office also directly funds the Scottish
Agricultural College. The Open University in Scotland is
part of the UK Open University and is funded via the
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
2.43 As Table 2.1 shows, SHEFC distributes approximately £550 million on behalf of government per annum for the purposes of teaching, research and related activities in the institutions it funds. Approximately £350 million is allocated to teaching, £100 million to research and the remainder to capital grants and special factor funding in pursuit of particular aims and objectives.
2.45 Working within the Government's continuing policy of consolidation of student numbers, the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) has been concerned to ensure that opportunities to undertake higher education should not diminish for students from non-traditional backgrounds including students and prospective students with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities and social classes III, IV and V. In pursuit of this, SHEFC has funded the Support for Students with Disabilities initiative and the Women into Science Engineering and Technology initiative. Related to participation, and in order to meet objectives for ensuring flexibility in programme arrangements, SHEFC has also funded: a Flexibility in Teaching and Learning Scheme, designed to promote responsiveness, diversity and different modes of teaching delivery; the Extended Teaching Year programme, which has piloted the use of the weekend and the summer for credit-bearing teaching; and a range of initiatives aimed at the promotion of the use of communications and information technology in learning and teaching.
2.47 The Scottish Higher
Education Funding Council (SHEFC) makes research grants
to institutions to support a basic research capability in
Scottish higher education institutions. These grants
enable institutions to maintain a research infrastructure
to which other funders can add in pursuit of their own
priorities. Table 2.3 shows the distribution of SHEFC
research funding in 1997-98. This funding is allocated
selectively on the basis of the quality of research in
institutions, as determined by findings of the UK-wide
Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). It shows that 63 per
cent of SHEFC research funding is concentrated in three
higher education institutions.
|2.48 In the
1996 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Scottish higher
education institutions offered submissions in 68 of the
69 subject areas. The number of Scottish institutions
submitting within each of these areas varied from one in
Mineral and Mining Engineering and one in Linguistics to
12 in Computer Science and in Business and Management
Studies. The performance of Scottish institutions in the
RAE is shown at Table 2.4.
2.49 This table shows that, in total, over 150 Scottish departments received research ratings of 4, 5 or 5*. This compares favourably with the RAE outcomes in 1992 where only 102 Scottish departments received equivalent ratings.25 It also compares favourably in terms of overall improvement as set against England (781 in 1992 and 974 in 1996). Departments achieving 5 or 5* ratings included a broad range of subjects from the sciences, arts, humanities and medical sciences.
The outcomes for departments with ratings of 5*, 5 and 4
are summated as all of the ratings include considerable
areas of international research excellence. The scores
for departments receiving 3A and 3B have been summated as
have those departments rated 1 and 2 since the former
will receive funding next year whereas the latter will
(+) % active research staff in brackets.
2.50. Table 2.5 shows outcomes from SHEFC's 1997 Research Development Grant initiative. This new competitive grant scheme, funded within the £100 million distributed by SHEFC for research, is designed to help institutions improve the fit between their research capability and the long-term needs of society and the economy as indicated by such processes as Technology Foresight.
are strong research links between Scottish higher
education institutions and industry. Table 2.6 indicates
the magnitude of these links in terms of income from
research grants and contracts in 1995-96. The table shows
that higher education institutions attracted over £21
million from UK industry, commerce and public
corporations in this year. Whilst a sizeable income, this
represents slightly less than eight per cent of all
research income. Notably, almost 90 per cent of funding
from these sources was shared between seven institutions,
one of which was the Scottish Agricultural College. We
believe that this link can, in future, be made stronger.
Enterprise network and other organisations have promoted
links between employers and higher education which have
become firmly embedded. These links have helped to
broaden the higher education research funding base in
recent years. For example, in 1990-91 approximately 65
per cent of higher education funding came from the
Funding Council and Research Councils. By 1994-95 this
figure had fallen to 58 per cent. It is anticipated that
while total research income in Scotland is expected to be
about £300 million in 1996-97, only 33 percent will come
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