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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Key facts

70,215 mature entrants to FT first degrees

11.3 per cent of mature students leave after year one


The number of mature (aged 21 or over) UK-domiciled students starting full-time first degrees has steadily increased over the past decade. It rose to 70,215 in 2015-16, which was an increase of 2.9 per cent on the previous year.

However, the number of mature part-time entrants in 2015-16 fell slightly by 1.0 per cent compared with the previous year. The sharp declines that followed the introduction of higher tuition fees appear to have ended, but there were 19,000 fewer mature part-time entrants in 2015-16 than in 2010-11. 

Mature students are much more likely to leave after one year of a first degree than young students.

The non-continuation rate for full-time mature UK-domiciled students was 11.3 per cent for entrants in 2014-15, compared with 6.3 per cent for young students. 

Page last updated 5 July 2017