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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Universities and colleges carry out benchmarking activity in both academic and organisational areas in order to take advantage of these benefits. It has also been used to demonstrate that universities and colleges are working to provide value for money.

Benchmarking tools

There are many different collections of data in the sector which allow benchmarking, but major tools include:

  • Estates management records
    Statistics designed to inform the way in which institutions manage and improve their physical infrastructure.

In brief

Benchmarking is a valuable tool for universities and colleges to identify efficiencies, control costs and learn from areas of good practice. It enables them to focus on priorities and make better use of scarce resources.

Useful reports

The Universities UK report Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education recommended that better data on costs of operational functions should be developed, which would provide useful information to support benchmarking.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) carried out research into benchmarking.  The report, ‘Benchmarking to improve efficiency’, is the output of the first of a two-stage process designed to help the sector drive efficiency through more effective and extensive benchmarking of its activities.

Page last updated 23 January 2015

Financial health

2016-17 financial results

Financial Health 2016-17