Funding boost to degree apprenticeships, skills, healthcare, and science courses

Degree apprenticeships, skills and strategically important areas of study, including healthcare, science and engineering courses, are to receive increased funding for the 2023-24 academic year, the Office for Students (OfS) has announced.

Coins in jar on text books on desk in front of blackboard - denoting money to fund education

The OfS will distribute £1,439 million in non-capital grants for the 2023-24 academic year, an increase of £56 million from the previous year total of £1,383 million.

Within this budget, the OfS will provide increases of:

  • £50 million (6.3 per cent) for high-cost clinical subjects and for those in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
  • £8 million (100 per cent) to support the growth of Level 4 and 5 provision, including courses leading to higher technical qualifications (HTQs)
  • £8 million (100 per cent) for projects that will build the sector’s capacity to provide degree apprenticeships.

The OfS will also maintain in cash terms budgets for student premiums for full and part-time undergraduates, the disabled students’ premium, and the premium for student transitions and mental health, which total £276 million. The £30 million budget for Uni Connect will also be maintained by the OfS.

Further information about the new funding for degree apprenticeships will be announced later this year by the OfS. The OfS will invite submissions from universities and colleges for an allocation of this funding.

John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, said:

‘In a time of rising cost pressures, this latest round of funding, which takes account of government priorities, will provide an increase in resources for universities and colleges to invest in degree apprenticeships and Level 4 and 5 qualifications, as well as strategic subjects that are costly to deliver. We are pleased to be able to increase funding for these areas to further support students who wish to take alternative routes into higher education. It is important to us that students from all backgrounds can access these courses. Ensuring that diverse and talented individuals have access to alternative routes into higher education pays dividends to the future UK economy.'

The recurrent grant letters and allocations for individual higher education providers will be released in July. Technical guidance and a summary publication showing allocations for all providers will also be published on the OfS website in July.


  1. See the decisions taken by the OfS on funding for 2023-24.
  2. Decisions about funding are taken by the Office for Students, having regard to any guidance from the Secretary of State for Education, alongside our other general duties. The relevant guidance letter from March 2023 is available on our guidance from government page. 
  3. The OfS is also maintaining in cash terms the rates of funding for:
  • nursing, midwifery and allied health supplement
  • targeted allocation for overseas study programmes
  • postgraduate taught supplement
  • targeted allocation for intensive postgraduate provision 
  • targeted allocation for accelerated full-time undergraduate provision
  • budget for the very high-cost STEM subjects allocation.
Published 22 June 2023

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