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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Find your named contact in the alternative provider engagement team

We visit all alternative providers so that we can develop our understanding of this part of the HE sector. Once you have received confirmation that your application for course designation has been successful, you will be allocated a named contact in the alternative pengagement team. We will work with you to tailor our work to suit our mutual needs. 

Find your named contact in the alternative provider engagement team

In addition to provider visits, we attend meetings of representative groups, such as Independent HE and the AUA AP Network. Members of the Alternative Provider engagement team work closely with their counterparts at the Department for Education (DfE).

Alongside the Alternative Provider engagement team, the Analytical Services directorate, Gateways and Assurance teams operate the processes of course designation and data returns that alternative providers must complete. 

Alternative provider engagement team

Analytical services



Responsible for:

  • a named point of contact for general queries not related to designation processes
  • visits to providers
  • intelligence gathering about the sector.

Responsible for:

  • data analysis

Responsible for:

  • financial sustainability, management and governance checks during the course designation application process

Responsible for:

  • course designation application processes
  • annual monitoring processes
  • course designation policy within HEFCE
  • changes of circumstance
  • applications for degree awarding powers, university title, and designation for HEFCE funding.

See our timeline of actions

Our timeline of actions sets out what alternative providers need to do throughout the year in order to comply with the requirements of institutional designation or specific-course designation.

Attend our training sessions and events

HEFCE runs a number of training sessions that are designed specifically for alternative providers, including:

  • an annual alternative provider conference. This year’s conference focused on collaboration and development opportunities for APs
  • an annual briefing for alternative providers with current designation, which includes updates to policies and processes that APs will need to follow
  • training sessions for alternative providers on how to complete the Higher Education Alternative Providers Early Students survey (HEAPES), run each year.

HEFCE also runs information events on other areas of work that the council covers. Details of forthcoming events are available on our events pages.

We are interested in learning about the types of events or training that providers would find beneficial – please tell us your ideas when we visit you.


Page last updated 6 October 2017