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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bailout? I think not.

We all heard about the £9 million that STFC found down the back of their sofa. On the face of it its very nice and should alleviate some of the 'pain' yet we still have to see how the money gets spent.

However, I think a number of our colleagues in the wider astronomy community might secretly be hoping that additional cash will be found to plug the still gaping blackhole.

I think they are waiting in vain...

from the BBC:

Grants for pupils in England starting university next year will be cut because the government overestimated how many would be eligible for support.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has admitted it has a funding shortfall of £200m, after improving financial support this year.

Oh dear, oh dear. Poor old DIUS seems to be having a bad year.

John Denham must be pulling his hair out after the past year of bad headlines. First they underestimate the amount of money needed to support STFC and now they underestimate the amount needed to support student grants.

The upshot is that DIUS are now looking to save money, first by reducing the income floor for studnet eligability and secondly via 'departmental savings'.

As far as research goes, there certainly won't be extra money to supplement STFC's budget just as most of us always thought.


Ade said...

I read the BBC article you refer to and notice you correctly quote the original article when you say the government "overestimated how many would be eligible for support". They have changed it to "underestimate" now, but I did wonder how, if they had overestimated how many would be eligible, they now found themselves short on cash...

Ade said...

On the other hand, I suppose it depends *when* they made the over(under)estimate. If they had estimated a certain number would be eligible for a certain level of grant, but then discovered that this was more than they could afford, then it would be an overestimate of the number of grants they could afford, and so in a way, an overestimate of how many students should be eligible. It was when they earmarked the pot of cash in the first place which has now turned out to be insufficient that they made the underestimate.

I think I should stop thinking about this and get back to work...

Kav said...

I report, you decide.

I thought at the time the BBC had made a typo but declined to change the wording in case I was missing something.

Work you say? Overrated I hear.