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To explore our directorates expand the links below.

Research, education and knowledge exchange

Research, education and knowledge exchange

Research, education and knowledge exchange is where we take our expert sector know-how and put it to use.

We’re a public body, so it’s important we share what we know with everyone who has a stake in higher education – from civil servants in Whitehall to universities up and down the country.

What the team say

With the importance it places on precision and thoroughness, research isn’t often seen as a field that offers freedom.

But autonomy is one of the things our teams enjoy most about their jobs. Just let Charlotte tell you.

'Our team has a real concentration of policy experts. And each of us is given the independence to deliver our portfolio effectively. For me, that means taking the lead on my policy areas and being able to work across the organisation whenever the need arises.'

By its very nature, Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange is an interesting place to work. But don’t take our word for it. Take Marcell’s.

'My role is really varied and challenging. It’s busy too. And I learn something new every day. But while it’s interesting, the best thing about my job is the team. I couldn’t ask to work alongside a better bunch of people.'

Finance and funding

Finance and funding

Finance and Funding gives out funds to higher education providers across England. Our biggest responsibility is deciding who gets what, and when.

But we also manage HEFCE budgets, pull together management information and keep the Government up to date on sector finances and a whole lot more. 

What the team say

So what’s it like to work here? For Will, who heads up our Efficiency and Investments team, it’s a challenge that never stops developing.

'Our work is incredibly varied. We promote and report on the sector, assess its financial health and investigate risks. But what’s really interesting is that we get to analyse and explore higher education from whole new angles – in an environment that’s constantly changing.'

Rob has only recently joined the directorate, but he also points out just how diverse the work is. And how being part of an expert team offers all sorts of opportunities to learn and grow.

'Some days I’ll write briefing documents. Others I’ll plan and design how to capture evidence. I’ve even helped update policy. Thanks to the support and knowledge of the team, I’ve already learned so much: I’ve really deepened my understanding and built up my experience.'

Analytical Services

Analytical Services

As you’d expect, the Analytical Services Directorate is home to many statisticians and mathematicians. All modelling, calculating and analysing a huge range of data.

Think monitoring student numbers and funding allocations right through to informing and advising on policy decisions.

What the team say

The word most often used to describe Analytical Services is varied. As Alison says:

'I work in the Analysis for Policy team alongside some truly brilliant people. Our work makes an impact, and it’s both interesting and challenging – no day is the same. At any one time I’ll be defining, building or interpreting evidence bases for multiple projects. That means I get to do a lot of coding and statistical work with very large, quantitative datasets. I also present the outputs of that work in the most appropriate way – be that a written reports, presentation or interactive data visualisation.'

Whatever your area of expertise, life in Analytical Services far from dull. Like Mandy, you’ll find you’re supported to seek out the things that interest you.

'As I got into my role, opportunities to improve seemed to present themselves. This is definitely helped by how welcoming the team is. Not only do they help you settle in, there’s a real open-door ethos from senior managers.'

Regulation and Assurance

Regulation and Assurance

In Regulation and Assurance we’re dedicated to protecting students as well as the reputation of the sector.

We do that by assessing the quality of education offered by current providers and evaluating those who want to enter the sector – we even help colleges become universities. Whatever we work on, we’re making sure our funding is put to the best possible use. 

What the team say

Every day brings something different. From changing relationships to a new case, there’s always something interesting going on in Regulations and Assurance. Just ask Jean: 

'My team’s work is broadly split between case work and process and policy development. That means I can be digging in to the detail of an individual application or shaping something more far-reaching. I also spend a lot of time on the phone to my Government counterparts. It’s complex and fast-moving, but we have a very clear purpose, and I take great satisfaction in doing work that makes a difference.'

Or Greg, who enjoys both the complexity of the directorate and the potential to develop.

'My team have helped me settle in to what is a very complicated job. It’s a happy and supportive place to work – as shown by the number of people who have built their career here over many years. There’s loads of scope for development and progression over the long term.'

Institutions

Institutions

The Institutions Directorate is all about developing relationships with higher education providers.

We gather intelligent insight and share latest practices with institutions. And we do it with the aim of understanding the challenges they face – at a national policy level and much closer to home. All of this means we can offer the expert, impartial advice they need. 

What the team say

Localising strategy isn’t ever something that should be done in isolation. That’s why we put a premium on conversation. It’s how we discover the reality of each region and influence change. It’s also how Tracy does her job. 

'As Regional Consultant for the Midlands, I cover a large geographical area: Worcester University in the West to Lincoln University in the East. Managing those relationships well means travelling. So I split my week between our Bristol office and meeting and talking with universities, colleges and other agencies across the region.'

It’s a demanding schedule, but one that has its own rewards.

'I have the opportunity to meet interesting and challenging people, but I can also get involved in policy development. This variety of internal and external is one of the best things about my job. As is the opportunity to work with a group of intelligent, motivated and engaged colleagues.'

Corporate Services

Corporate Services

Corporate Services is the backbone of HEFCE. From the Chief Executive’s office, to IT and HR, through Facilities Management and Internal Governance, we provide the support, technology and guidance the other directorates need to excel.

What the team say

They might be delivering a consistent service in their specialisms, but Corporate Services is anything but repetitive. In fact, the variety is what Karen enjoys most.

'My role is managing the IT Helpdesk, so my day-to-day is quite varied. It ranges from helping with MS Office queries to troubleshooting of underlying system or profile issue. We also purchase and build the IT equipment, and support mobile workers as well as key applications. The variety is the best bit though – no two days are the same.'

Trish, on the other hand, likes the impact she can make right across the organisation as part of the HR team.

'I like that I can see the difference I make, and that I get to work with people across HEFCE. We’re such a small team – but we can make such a big difference. This is partly because we deliver strategic as well as transactional HR. But the great mix of personalities and skills also plays a big role. It’s a great team to work in.'