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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Public benefits reporting

With Universities UK we are looking to improve understanding of the wider roles that higher education (HE) plays in society. We are also seeking to make the case for the public benefits of HE and improve methods of describing and measuring these benefits.

Pilot exercise

From July 2009 to spring 2010 we have been working with Universities UK and a number of higher education institutions (HEIs) on a pilot scheme to develop and disseminate statements describing the wider benefits of HE.

Participating institutions were supported through workshop events and an e-discussion list to identify their own target audiences and formats for describing and disseminating the benefits they create in society, with a view to informing their communities and the public.

Our work in this area follows a recommendation from Professor Paul Wellings, Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University, in his report to the Government on Intellectual Property and Research Benefits, published in November 2008.

We expect that this work will also contribute to our programme of micro-studies into new sets of metrics for HE's engagement with business and the community.

'Service to Society'

We have produced a brochure describing the way in which higher education benefits wider society by using the benefit statements of the 21 pilot institutions. 'Service to Society' outlines six key areas of benefit and interaction illustrated with case studies from the pilot statements. It also provides web links to these individual institutional statements.

Service to society: demonstrating the public benefits of higher education

Download the Service to society: demonstrating the public benefits of higher education as PDF (563 KB)

Further information

For further information about our work on public benefits reporting contact Jenni Chambers, tel 0117 931 7041, email

Page last updated 19 December 2014