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Abbreviations / Acronyms

Organisations and terms which have been replaced, changed name, or cease to exist are marked with an asterisk *. They are included because they may continue to be referred to.


ACE Adult Continuing Education
ACE Arts Council England
ACU Association of Commonwealth Universities
AGCAS Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services
AGR Association of Graduate Recruiters
AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
AHUA Association of Heads of University Administration
AIRs* accelerated & intensive routes (to Higher Education) - completed HEFCE-funded initiative
ALF Access to Learning Fund
ALI Adult Learning Inspectorate
AMOSSHE Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education
AMRC Association of Medical Research Charities
AMS annual monitoring statement
AOC Association of Colleges
API Age Participation Index
APL accreditation of prior learning
ASNs additional student numbers
AUA Association of University Administrators
AUCF* average unit of Council funding
AUDE Association of University Directors of Estates
AURIL Association for University Research & Industry Links
AUT* Association of University Teachers (now UCU)
AY academic year

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BA British Academy
BA/BSc Bachelor of Arts/Science
BBSRC Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
BMA British Medical Association
BME black and minority ethnic
BPE Beacon for Public Engagement
BUFDG British Universities Finance Directors Group
BUFVC British Universities Film & Video Council

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CABE Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
CAFAS Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards
CATE Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
CATS credit accumulation & transfer scheme
CETL* Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - completed HEFCE-funded initiative
CFEE co-funded employer engagement
CHEAD Council for Higher Education in Art & Design
CHEIA Council of Higher Education Internal Auditors
CHEMS* Commonwealth Higher Education Management Service
CHERI Centre for Higher Education Research and Information
CIF Capital Investment Framework
CIHE* Council for Industry and Higher Education (now NCUB)
CKE Centre for Knowledge Exchange
CNAA* Council for National Academic Awards
COI* Central Office of Information
CPD continuing professional development


Commission for Racial Equality (now incorporated into EHRC)


Cost-sharing group


Depending on the context this means either Corporate social responsibility  or Comprehensive Spending Review

CUBO Conference of University Business Officers
CUC Committee of University Chairs
CURL Consortium of Research Libraries
CVCP* Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (now Universities UK)
CVU Council of Validating Universities

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DAPs degree-awarding powers
DBERR* Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (now BIS)
DCMS Department of Culture, Media and Sport
DDA Disability Discrimination Act
DEFRA Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DEL Department for Employment and Learning (in Northern Ireland)
DELLS Department for Education and Lifelong Learning and Skills (in Wales)
DENI* Department of Education (for) Northern Ireland (now DEL)
DfES* Department for Education and Skills (now BIS)
DH Department of Health
DIUS* Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (now BIS)
DLHE Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education
DRC* Disability Rights Commission (now incorporated into EHRC)
DSA Disabled Students' Allowance
DTI* Department of Trade & Industry (now BIS)

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EAUC Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges

Education Action Zone


Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation


European Community
ECU Equality Challenge Unit
EEA European Economic Area (all EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein)
EHRC Equality and Human Rights Commission
EiC* Excellence in Cities
ELQ Equivalent or lower qualification
ELWa* Education and Learning Wales (now part of the Welsh Assembly Government)
EOC* Equal Opportunities Commission (now incorporated into EHRC)
EP* A HEFCE electronic publication
EPSRC Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
EQUALL Equal Opportunities, Access and Lifelong Learning (a HEFCE committee)
ERDF European Regional Development Fund
ESECT* Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team
ESF European Social Fund
ESRC Economic & Social Research Council
EU European Union

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FACE Forum for Access and Continuing Education
FAMD Funding and monitoring data
FAQ frequently asked questions
FD foundation degree
FDF* Foundation Degree Forward
FDGMP* Fund for the Development of Good Management Practice
FDS* First Destination Survey (now the DLHE)
FDTL* Fund for the Development of Teaching & Learning
FE further education
fEC full economic cost 
FEC further education college
FEESS Further Education Early Student Statistics
FEFC* Further Education Funding Council (now the Skills Funding Agency and the Young People's Learning Agency)
FEFCW* Further Education Funding Council for Wales (now part of the Welsh Assembly Government)
FHEQ Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
FM Financial Memorandum
FOI Freedom of Information Act
FPE full-person equivalent
FSR HESA Finance Statistics Return 
FSSG Financial Sustainability Strategy Group 
FTE full-time equivalent
FY financial year

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GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education
GDP gross domestic product
GMP good management practice
GR generic research
GTP Graduate Teacher Programme

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HE higher education
HEACF* Higher Education Active Community Fund 
HEAPES Higher Education in Alternative Providers Early Statistics survey
HE-BCI higher education-business and community interaction (survey)
HE-BI* higher education-business interaction (now HE-BCI)
HEBRG Higher Education Better Regulation Group
HEEON Higher Education Equal Opportunities Network
HEEPI Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement
HEERA Higher Education External Relations Association
HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England
HEFCW Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
HEI higher education institution
HEIF Higher Education Innovation Funding
HEIFES Higher Education in Further Education: Student Survey
HEPI Higher Education Policy Institute
HEPISG Higher Education Public Information Steering Group 
HEPS Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
HEQC* Higher Education Quality Council
HEROBC* Higher Education Reach-out to Business and the Community Fund
HERRG* Higher Education Regulation Review Group (now HEBRG)
HESA Higher Education Statistics Agency
HESDA* Higher Education Staff Development Agency
HESES Higher Education Students Early Statistics
HEW Higher Education Wales
HLSP* Higher Level Skills Pathfinders
HMRC Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
HMSO* Her Majesty's Stationery Office (now TSO)
HNC Higher National Certificate
HND Higher National Diploma
HR human resources

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IAGS Intentions After Graduation Survey
ICT information and communication technologies
IIP Investors in People
ILR individualised learner record
ILT* Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
INSET In-Service Education and Training
IP intellectual property
IQER* Integrated Quality and Enhancement Review
IRC Interdisciplinary Research Centre
ISR individualised student record
IT information technology
ITT Initial Teacher Training

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JACCC* Joint Advisory Committee for Church Colleges (now the JACCUC)
JACCUC Joint Advisory Committee for Church Universities and Colleges
JACS Joint Academic Coding System
JCPSG* Joint Costing and Pricing Steering Group
JIF* Joint Infrastructure Fund
JISC* Joint Information Systems Committee (now Jisc)
JMAC* Joint Medical Advisory Committee (now UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee)
JPPSG* Joint Procurement Policy and Strategy Group
JREI* Joint Research Equipment Initiative

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KIS Key Information Set
KPT key performance target

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LAD Learning Aim Database
LDCS Learndirect Classification System
LEA Local Education Authority - The County council, Metropolitan District or London Borough with responsibility for education
LFHE Leadership Foundation for Higher Education
LGM leadership, governance and management
LLN Lifelong Learning Network
LPN Low-participation neighbourhood
LSC* Learning and Skills Council
LTSN* Learning and Teaching Support Network

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MA/MSc Master of Arts/Science
MaSN* maximum student number
MRC Medical Research Council

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NAB National Advisory Board
NAO National Audit Office
NARIC National Academic Recognition Information Centre
NATFHE* National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (now UCU)
NCIHE* National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education
NCT* national co-ordination team
NCTL National College for Teaching and Leadership
NCUB National Centre for Universities and Business (formerly CIHE)
NDPB non-departmental public body (otherwise known as 'quangos')
NDT* National Disability Team
NERC Natural Environment Research Council
NESTA National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
NFER National Foundation for Educational Research
NIACE National Institute of Adult Continuing Education



Northern Ireland Higher Education Council

National Scholarship Programme

NSS National Student Survey
NTI* New Technology Institute
NUS National Union of Students
NVQ National Vocational Qualification

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OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OFFA Office for Fair Access
OFSTED Office for Standards in Education
OGC Office of Government Commerce
OIA Office of the Independent Adjudicator 
ONS Office for National Statistics
ORSAS* Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme
OSI* Office of Science and Innovation (now part of BIS)
OST* Office of Science and Technology (became Office of Science and Innovation)
OTTP Overseas Trained Teacher Programme

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P4P* Partnerships for Progression (joint initiative between the HEFCE and the then LSC)
PAC Public Accounts Committee
PCFC* Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council
PFI Private Finance Initiative
PG Postgraduate
PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
PGR Postgraduate Research
PGT Postgraduate Taught
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
PI performance indicator
POLAR Participation of Local Areas 
PPARC* Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council
PPP public/private partnership
PSRB Professional, statutory or regulatory body

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QAA Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
QCA* Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
QR quality-related research (funding)
QTS qualified teacher status

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R&D research and development
RAB Resource Accounting Budget charge
RAE Research Assessment Exercise
RAS Research Activity Survey
RCUK Research Councils UK
RDA* Regional Development Agency
RDP Research Degree Programme
REF Research Excellence Framework
REFI Review of exceptional funding for institutions
RIN Research Information Network
RLN* Research Libraries Network
RPG Regulatory Partnership Group
RRAA Race Relations (Amendment) Act
RSLG* Research Support Libraries Group

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SASS Strategy for Access and Student Success
SCONUL Society of College, National and University Libraries
SCOP* Standing Conference of Principals (now GuildHE)
SDF* Strategic Development Fund
SENDA Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
SFC Scottish Funding Council
SFE Student Finance England
SFEFC* Scottish Further Education Funding Council (now SFC)
SHEFC* Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (now SFC)
SIA* Sector impact assessment
SIS strategically important subjects
SIVS strategically important and vulnerable subjects
SLC Student Loans Company
SME small to medium-sized enterprise
SORP Statement of Recommended (Accounting) Practice (accounting in HE institutions)
SPA Supporting Professionalism in Admissions
SRHE Society for Research into Higher Education
SRIF* Science Research Investment Fund
STEM science, technology, engineering and mathematics
SWOUT sandwich year out 

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TDA* Training and Development Agency for Schools
TDAPs Taught degree-awarding powers
TESS teaching enhancement and student success
TLTP* Teaching and Learning Technology Programme
TNE Transnational education
TQA* Teaching Quality Assessment
TQEF* Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund
TQI* Teaching Quality Information (now public information about higher education)
TQSE Teaching Quality and the Student Experience
TRAC Transparent Approach to Costing
TRAC(T) TRAC for teaching (a national framework for costing teaching, based on TRAC principles)
TSO The Stationery Office
TTA* Teacher Training Agency (now the NCTL)

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UACE* Universities Association for Continuing Education
UALL Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (formerly UACE)
UCEA Universities and Colleges Employers Association
UCET Universities Council for the Education of Teachers
UFC* Universities Funding Council (formerly University Grants Committee)
Ufi University for Industry
UG undergraduate
UGC* University Grants Committee
UKADIA UK Arts & Design Institutions Association
UKBA* UK Border Agency (see UKVI)
UKCISA UK Council for International Student Affairs
UKCOSA* United Kingdom Council for Overseas Student Affairs (now UKCISA)
UKERNA* United Kingdom Education & Research Networking Association (now JANET(UK))
UKRO UK Research Office
UKRPIF UK Research Partnership Investment Fund
UKVI UK Visas & Immigration (replaced visa service of UKBA April 2013)
UN United Nations
UOA unit of assessment (in RAE and REF)
UQP Unsatisfactory quality policy (HEFCE’s policy for addressing unsatisfactory quality in institutions)
UUK Universities UK (formerly the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals)
UVAC University Vocational Awards Council

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VAT value-added tax
VC vice-chancellor
VFM value for money

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WP widening participation
WPSA Widening Participation Strategic Assessment
WPSS Widening Participation Strategic Statement

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