The narcissism of minor differences

by Andy Westwood February 11, 2014

They finally arrived yesterday. BIS published both the HEFCE grant letter and the SFA’s Skills Funding Statement. One was 6 pages and the other 60 but they both delivered roughly the same amount of cash to the FE and HE sectors. They also delivered more or less what had been set out in the Autumn Statement – i.e. some quite significant cuts to both sectors but not too much more on top of what George Osborne delivered in December. Andy Westwood gives some early thoughts on the letters and the scramble over funding that will come.

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Making the cut

by Alistair Jarvis January 27, 2014

At the start of the week that we expect the HEFCE grant letter, Alistair Jarvis looks at the scale of the hole in BIS’ budget and assesses the options that the Government now faces as it decides where to cut and how far to go – decisions that could have drastic long-term consequences.

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Business as usual – a look at the Innovation & Research Strategy

by Mark Leach December 8, 2011

Last week I predicted that today’s Innovation & Research Strategy would in no way be a radical document that questioned the underlying principles of research or research funding. Despite some optimistic thinking in some quarters of the sector, today we can see that the Government’s appetite for constant revolution is starting to wane. This strategy has instead provided them with an opportunity to reinforce what’s already working and look ahead – albeit only to the short or medium term.

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What did we learn from the BIS Business Plan?

by Mark Leach May 17, 2011

The answer is; not a great deal, but some useful morsels of information can be found with a bit of digging. One of the transparency initiatives of this Government has been to make Departmental business plans publicly accessible. They have all just been updated for May 2011 and the BIS plan is certainly worth a scan from an HE perspective, even though it’s not setting the world alight.

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The latest attempt to communicate the fees system by BIS falls short

by Mark Leach March 21, 2011

BIS have today published a flyer and FAQ sheet about the new fees system. But it’s too little, too late. Their failure to communicate adequately through the policy quagmire they have created will have lasting repercussions.

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