Very few words from me – just one big picture. This is the allocation of “margin” student places to HEIs plotted against institutional QR (quality-linked research) funding.
Margin places have been allocated to institutions based on on “criteria of quality, demand and cost – only those institutions with average tuition fees in 2012-13 of £7,500 or less (net of fee waivers) were eligible to bid. HEFCE received bids from 203 institutions for 36,000 places. Final allocations were made on a pro rata basis” (the “pro-rata” being that everyone’s allocation was reduced to meet the total fit below the 20,000 places HEFCE could allocate.)
I’d expected a positive correlation for widening participation funding, hypothesising that institutions with a focus on WP would be good at delivering efficient, effective and popular HE courses. But – of course – delivering HE to non-traditional learners is expensive, so this would play against such institutions having fees of £7,500 or less – and there’s no sense having extra places that mean you are running a course at more of a loss.
But just look at the graph! I’ve never seen a clearer example of a teaching/research binary divide. I’d be interested to come back to this data when we get the AAB numbers.