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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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The study into the sustainability of learning and teaching in the HE sector in England was overseen by a working group co-chaired by Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow (FSSG Chair) and Professor Julian Crampton (FSSG member). Working group members provided case studies and evidence to inform the study, and a forum for discussion of the emerging issues.

The study considered three main questions:

  • How healthy is teaching and learning in English universities today, compared with 2008, and with what we would wish to see?
  • How have universities responded to the new environment, and how able are they to continue to deliver world-class higher education to their students and to serve the other purposes we expect of them?
  • What are the major risks and challenges in the new environment that universities will face in the future?

The report draws conclusions on its assessment of the sustainability of learning and teaching. The report is primarily about providing evidence to inform policy, but we make a number of recommendations where  universities may need to take action, whether individually or working in collaboration with other sector groups to assure the academic and financial sustainability of teaching and learning. We also make some recommendations to Government, funders and regulators on how they could help universities in addressing the challenges and risks over the medium term.

FSSG Chair’s letter March 2015

Download the FSSG Chair’s letter March 2015 as PDF (119 KB)

FSSG Report: The Sustainability of learning and teaching in higher education in England.

Download the FSSG Report: The Sustainability of learning and teaching in higher education in England. as PDF (1,820 KB)