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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Learning gain is the difference between the skills demonstrated by students at two points in time, including for example at the start and end of a degree programme.

We hosted a conference on 9 February at the Royal Society in London with a range of English and international speakers to explore and debate different conceptions and measures of learning gain used by institutions, disciplines or departments, and the potential purposes of such measures in England.

The conference was aimed at senior HEI management and practitioners who want to influence the debate on learning gain from the beginning.


Presentations from the event

Opening address and introduction, Madeleine Atkins and Ellie Clewlow, Chief Executive and Head of Learning and Teaching, HEFCE

Download the Opening_address as PDF (1,603 KB)

Using assessment to improve student learning: Lessons from the Wabash Study, Charles Blaich and Kathleen Wise, Director and Associate Director, Wabash National Study

Download the 1010-1040 Keynote 1 - Blaich & Wise - Wabash Study as PDF (67 KB)

Progress testing in the medical sciences, Lambert Schuwirth, Professor of Medical Education, Flinders University

Download the 1040-1110 Keynote 2 - Lambert Schuwirth - Progress testing as PDF (724 KB)

Past and future applications of CLA+, Roger Benjamin, President, Council for Aid to Education and Director of Collegiate Learning Assessment

Download the 1130-1200 Keynote 3 - Roger Benjamin - Past and Future Applications of CLA+ as PDF (495 KB)

Mixed methods to track academic performance and engagement, Professor Rhona Sharpe, Head of the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University

Download the 1345-1500 Presentation 1- Rhona Sharpe - Mixed Methods as PDF (1,169 KB)

Careers registration survey, Bob Gilworth, University of London

Download the 1345-1500 Presentation 2 - Bob Gilworth - Careers Reg Survey as PDF (374 KB)

Durham University Skills Audit: do you have the skills to succeed?, Eleanor Loughlin, Student Study Skills Coordinator, Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, University of Durham

Download the 1345-1500 Presentation 3 - Eleanor Loughlin - Durham Uni Skills Audit as PDF (1,361 KB)

Research results presented at the conference

HEFCE is working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Higher Education Academy to explore learning gain in more depth. We have commissioned Rand Europe to conduct a scoping study of learning gain in higher education. The results were presented at the conference and a report will be published in early spring.


If you have any questions about this event, please contact Pam Macpherson Barrett (