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Efficiency in higher education

HEFCE’s role

HEFCE is required to report to government on the efficiency of the HEFCE-funded higher education sector. For this purpose, HEFCE collects data from institutions through an annual efficiency return. This return aims to collect data from institutions on new efficiencies delivered in the most recently completed academic year.

Efficiencies are realised when higher education institutions carry out their activities using fewer resources, or use the same level of resources to do more. Such changes can be achieved through better management, organisation and the use of technology. Common efficiency initiatives include sharing services with other organisations, digitising and automating processes, and using collaborative procurement frameworks.

Read guidance for the 2016-17 annual efficiency return

Page last updated 6 October 2017