The Office for Students (OfS) has announced the award of over £135 million in capital funding to support investment in new buildings, facilities and equipment for universities and colleges across England. The funding, allocated for the 2021-22 financial year, consists of £128 million awarded through a bidding exercise, as well an allocation of £7.4 million distributed via a formula.
Successful bids had to demonstrate they offered good value for money, with details of how public money would be managed effectively through the project. Bids also needed to demonstrate how they met one or more priority categories. These were:
- Category 1: High-cost subjects of strategic importance. These subjects include laboratory-based subjects in science, technology and engineering, and healthcare disciplines in medicine, dentistry, nursing, midwifery and allied health professions, veterinary science and archaeology
- Category 2: Enhancement of graduate employability and skills needs of employers and industry and therefore local and regional economies, in particular in supporting technical provision at Levels 4 and 5
- Category 3: Part-time and other forms of flexible provision.
Funding through the competitive bidding process has been provided to 100 universities, colleges and other higher education providers. Of these, 44 were awarded the maximum amount of £2 million per provider. In total, the OfS received 166 bids requesting a total of £272 million.
Nolan Smith, director of resources and finance at the OfS, said:
'Good facilities, modern buildings and access to the right equipment are important elements to students having a positive experience of higher education. This was a very competitive funding round, with generally high quality applications across the board. The projects we are funding provide good value for money for the taxpayer, and will make a demonstrable and positive difference to students now and into the future. The projects will help with strategically important subjects which are expensive to deliver, as well as offering a boost to local and regional economies.'See the capital funding allocations Read more about capital funding