Amanda Sackur

Further education: Time to expand, not cut

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London Metropolitan University is facing massive funding cuts after an audit by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) discovered that university management had been submitting inaccurate data.

Funding depends on student numbers but they have a very tight definition of a student: to qualify, students must have taken all the assessments in all their modules.

HEFCE discovered retrospectively that London Met had been submitting the number of students deemed capable of progressing, which is not the same thing as those who actually complete their course. It turned out that thousands of students didn't qualify for funding. As a result, London Met must pay back £38 million in overpaid grant and faces losing around £20 million a year.

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