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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Current work across the higher education sector on procurement focuses on three strategic priorities. These are:

  • strategic leadership in procurement
  • better collaborative procurement
  • improving capability and capacity in procurement

Strategic leadership

Procurement UK has been established to provide high-level leadership and strategic coordination for procurement across the whole United Kingdom.

It is made up of representatives from the higher education, public and private sectors  and is co-ordinated by Universities UK. It sets the strategic direction and monitors progress against plans.

Better collaboration

Universities and colleges have adopted a target that 30 per cent of their spending in areas other than staff pay should be addressed through effective collaborative arrangements within five years.  This objective is monitored by Procurement UK.

Improving capability and capacity

The Higher Education Procurement Academy delivers development activities, including e-learning, networking opportunities, and an online repository of information on procurement.

Procurement Maturity Assessments are being offered by Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium as part of the first phase of the Innovation and Transformation Fund.

They provide a:

  • detailed independent assessment of universities’ procurement function
  • bespoke action plan for improvement
  • baseline for measuring improvements and a benchmark with similar institutions.

In brief

Effective procurement ensures that universities and colleges can have access to the goods and services that they need to support the delivery of their aims and objectives.

By making better use of collaborative solutions and developing in-house capability and capacity savings can be made which can be redirected to teaching and research.

Looking to purchase?

Collaborative procurement for English universities and colleges is organised through four purchasing consortia:  

All four consortia are members of Procurement England Ltd (PEL), alongside the specialist higher education buying organisations, the Energy Consortium (TEC) and the University Caterers Organisation (TUCO). 

The collective voice of procurement practitioners in higher and further education is the Procurement Practitioners Group. 

Page last updated 23 January 2015

Financial health

2016-17 financial results

Financial Health 2016-17