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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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What is a ‘sandpit’?

Sandpits are intensive facilitated workshops which aim to uncover innovative solutions..  

The social innovation sandpit will take place on 12-14 January 2016.  The warm-up event on 23 October offered attendees an opportunity to:

  • find out more about the call for applications to the sandpit
  • learn how the sandpit will work
  • share views on social innovation.

HEFCE has allocated up to £40,000 to fund projects arising from the sandpit. Successful projects will be practical and effective learning pilots involving social innovation.

Read more about the social innovation fund and find out how to attend the sandpit

Who was the warm-up event for?

The event was aimed at attendees from English higher education institutions (HEIs), but we also welcomed participants from outside HEIs, for example third sector or public sector organisations, who have an interest in developing social innovation approaches with English higher education partners.