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Funding cash confirmed

The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council announced this week an pound;800 million package for the 20 HE institutions for 2004-05 - a 5.5 per cent increase on the current year.

But there is a huge discrepancy between the treatment of teaching and research - a 3.4 percentage point rise for the former and 11.6 percentage points for the latter.

The funding council said that the increase in research spending was "crucial for the development of Scotland's economy and well-being". The total includes a pound;14 million allocation, of which pound;5.8 million will be used to fund 1,100 places in teacher education institutions. This is essential if the Scottish Executive is to meet its target of recruiting an extra 3,000 teachers by 2006.

The rises range from 2.7 per cent for Robert Gordon University to 17.6 per cent for the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute.

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