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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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All UK institutions were invited to submit an Annual Sustainability Assurance Report (ASSUR) to their respective funding councils in December 2013, December 2014 and December 2015 and to include their calculations of the Margin for Sustainability and Investment (MSI) in their Annual TRAC returns for the three years 2012-13 to 2014-15.

Key findings

The outcomes from the third pilot exercise have now been evaluated independently and the key findings were:

  • ASSUR remains an important means through which a university governing body can provide evidence of their assessment of institutional sustainability. ASSUR submission should be embedded in the funding councils’ annual accountability process (as supported by the Higher Education Code of Governance).
  • The Margin for Sustainability and Investment (MSI) should be adopted to replace the two TRAC sustainability adjustments, the Return for Financing and Investment (RFI) and the Infrastructure Adjustment, in TRAC from 2016-17, subject to the 2015-16 reporting made under the new accounting standard FRS 102 and to final approvals from Research Councils UK and the FSSG.

Who should read the report?

This evaluation should be useful for Directors of Finance and may also be of interest to other senior managers and governing body members.

Read the report