UEA budget increased

The University of East Anglia (UEA) predicted “testing times ahead” last night as it was handed a modest rise in its funding for the coming year.UEA will get a total of �57.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) predicted “testing times ahead” last night as it was handed a modest rise in its funding for the coming year.

UEA will get a total of �57.117m in 2009/10 - up 3.5pc from �53.45m in 2008/9.

Much of the money is teaching funding, which has risen faster than the average for the 130 universities funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce).

However, in common with many institutions, a recent review of research handouts has seen the other significant chunk, for research, drop for the coming year.

A UEA spokesman said: “The university has held its own in a challenging funding round, comparing favourably with many larger institutions, some of which have even seen their funding decline.

“Our teaching funding has risen higher than the average for the sector, thanks to the continued successful growth of our medical school.”

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She added: “A change to the way research funding is distributed nationally, following the recent research assessment exercise, has resulted in the total funding available being spread more widely and, therefore, more thinly.

“We have done particularly well in our traditional areas of strength as well as in the two new areas that were submitted for the first time: pharmacy and health, confirming that these developments are now well established and recognised not only for their teaching but also for producing internationally recognised research.

“Even so, there is no doubt that we face testing times ahead as we continue to invest heavily in teaching and research facilities while managing extreme economic conditions, where declining investment returns, increasing employers' pension contributions and other financial pressures are the norm.”

University Campus Suffolk, a joint project between UEA and the University of Essex, gets �11.699m, while Norwich University College of the Arts sees its funding increase by 4.6pc to �6.715m.

Hefce will hand out a total of �7,994m to universities and colleges in 2009-10, an increase of 4pc from the previous year.

Hefce chief executive and former UEA vice-chancellor Prof David Eastwood said: “This represents a good settlement for universities and colleges. It also represents a crucial investment in developing people and ideas, and provides a major step in helping the country through and beyond the current recession.”

He added: “Although this settlement provides universities and colleges with resources to help weather the economic downturn, they still face longer-term, difficult challenges and will need to plan prudently and invest selectively.”