Skip to main content

Universities: Greater London

Question for Department for Education

UIN 24660, tabled on 24 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of removing the London weighting element of the Strategic Priorities Grant on London universities in the context of rising inflation.

Answered on

4 July 2022

The Strategic Priorities Grant (SPG) is funding supplied by the government on an annual basis to support teaching and students in higher education (HE), including expensive to deliver subjects, such as science and engineering, students at risk of discontinuing their studies, and world-leading specialist providers.

We asked the Office for Students (OfS) to reform the SPG in the 2021/22 financial year. The removal of London weighting was required to enable the reprioritisation of this funding towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy, STEM, and specific labour market needs. The London weighting previously accounted for a small proportion of London providers’ income. For example, £64 million was allocated through the London weighting in the 2020/21 academic year SPG, which was less than 1% of London providers estimated total income.

As set out in the guidance letter from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education to the OfS in March we are investing an additional £750 million over the next three years to support high quality teaching and facilities including in science and engineering, subjects that support the NHS, and degree apprenticeships. Further information on this guidance letter can be found here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/bb422aae-54fb-42c8-b5db-26e7ed48df80/strategic-priorities-grant-20220331_amend.pdf. This includes the largest increase in government funding for the HE sector to support students and teaching in over a decade. The recurrent SPG budget is £1,397 million for the 2022/23 financial year, which is 5% higher than last year.