You need cookies enabled


You need cookies enabled

Executive summary


1.   This document requests further education colleges (FECs) to submit higher education (HE) strategies. It provides guidance that sets out our expectations of an FEC's HE strategy.

Key points

2.   HE strategies should be developed by all FECs, directly and indirectly funded, and documentation submitted to HEFCE.

3.   The strategy and the process of developing it will be valuable to the college itself and will:

  • form evidence for the college's Integrated Quality Enhancement and Review
  • support and inform the development of the widening participation strategic assessment1
  • help colleges in discussions with HEFCE institutional teams.

4.   When developing an HE strategy, colleges should take account of our view of the role of HE in FECs (see Annex A) and of the distinctive contribution that FECs can make to the overall provision of HE.

5.   The context for the college's HE should be described, taking account of non-HEFCE funded provision alongside that funded directly or indirectly by HEFCE.

6.   We expect the strategy to cover:

  • a high-level statement explaining what the strategy is about
  • a rationale for the strategy
  • elaboration about specific objectives showing they have the potential to be realised
  • assessment of high-level risks.

7.   Strategy documentation may be provided in different ways, and it is for colleges to decide on the preferred format (see paragraph 36).

Action required

8.   The form provided at Annex D should be completed and signed by the college's principal confirming that the strategy has received the approval of the further education corporation.

9.   FECs' HE strategies should be submitted by e-mail to by noon on Monday 11 January 2010.

Date: 1 March 2009

Ref: 2009/13

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Heads of indirectly funded further education colleges with higher education provision

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Management, Strategic planning, Higher education in further education colleges, Finance, Governance

Enquiries should be directed to:

HEFCE higher education policy advisers