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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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2008 RAE confirms UK's dominant position in international research

18 December 2008

Results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise show that 54 per cent of UK research activity falls into the top two grades of 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Birmingham to host national programme for STEM subjects

17 December 2008

HEFCE has selected the University of Birmingham to host the national higher education programme for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Training will support voluntary-giving scheme

16 December 2008

HEFCE has awarded the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Europe £1.5 million to provide a dedicated programme of training and support to institutions participating in the matched funding scheme for voluntary giving.

Links with capital funding bolster carbon reduction plans

11 December 2008

Plans for cutting the higher education sector's carbon emissions are set out in a recent HEFCE report to the Secretary of State.

Universities and colleges to help stimulate economic activity

03 December 2008

Universities and colleges are being asked to review their capital investment plans to bring forward £250 million of capital expenditure from 2010-11 to 2009-10 and 2008-09 to help stimulate economic activity.

How universities can help in the current economic climate

27 November 2008

Details of how universities and colleges can do still more to help businesses during an economic downturn are being published today by Universities UK and GuildHE, supported by HEFCE.

Clinical lectureship scheme benefits research staff

24 November 2008

A mid-term review of the Clinical Senior Lectureship Awards (CSLA) scheme shows senior medical school staff are optimistic about the impact the scheme will have on the capacity and sustainability of the clinical academic community.

Sir Alan Langlands appointed Chief Executive of HEFCE

20 November 2008

Sir Alan Langlands, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, has been appointed Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. He takes up the post on 1 April 2009, succeeding Professor David Eastwood. Throughout his time at Dundee, Sir Alan has shown an absolute commitment to excellence in education, research and knowledge transfer, and the university has made an enormous contribution to the economic and social development of the city and the wider community in Scotland.

HEFCE contributes to debate on the future of higher education

13 November 2008

HEFCE has provided a report on understanding higher education (HE) institutional performance as part of a government debate about the future development of HE.

Advice issued on Secretary of State's statement on student support and numbers

10 November 2008

Professor David Eastwood, Chief Executive of HEFCE, today issued advice to universities and colleges on the implications of the recent parliamentary statement on student support by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Nominations invited for round four of Clinical Senior Lectureship Awards

03 November 2008

Round four of the Clinical Senior Lectureship Awards opens for nominations today.

Building bridges between universities and employers

30 October 2008

A report published today demonstrates the benefits to employers of building strong partnerships with higher education to produce a highly skilled workforce.

Statement on student support and numbers

29 October 2008

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills has written a letter to the Chair of HEFCE Tim Melville-Ross about action he would like the funding Council to take following his parliamentary statement on student support.

Future brighter for science and other key vulnerable subjects

21 October 2008

The future of science and other key vulnerable subjects, which have seen declines in the past in the number of students, is now far healthier than it was three years ago, Professor David Eastwood, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, said today (21 October).

Opening up resources for learning

14 October 2008

Students, academics and higher education institutions are to benefit from the combined experience and knowledge of educators throughout the country. An innovative project announced today will significantly increase access to educational resources across the higher education sector.

£400 million for universities to boost the economy and society

02 October 2008

HEFCE today confirmed the distribution of nearly £400 million from the Higher Education Innovation Fund round four (HEIF 4) to universities following approval of their strategies (Note 1).

Best-ever response rate for National Student Survey

11 September 2008

More students than ever have responded to the National Student Survey (NSS) this year. Nearly 220,000 students completed the 2008 survey. This figure comprises over 210,000 students studying at higher education institutions (HEIs) (up from 177,000 last year) plus over 6,000 students studying higher education at further education (FE) colleges, which took part in the survey for the first time this year. This is the fourth annual National Student Survey.

Organisational changes at HEFCE

09 September 2008

New team structures and roles within HEFCE have now taken effect. These are being introduced to strengthen our internal processes and resource to enhance our relationship with institutions.

New appointments to HEFCE strategic committees

05 September 2008

HEFCE has appointed new members to its five strategic advisory committees.

HE credit framework for England

28 August 2008

A national credit framework and associated guidance for its implementation across higher education in England has been published today.

Proposed changes to funding for teaching

28 August 2008

HEFCE is consulting on changes to the way it funds teaching. The proposals will improve support for teaching enhancement and widening participation.

Bids to Revolving Green Fund open

18 August 2008

Applications are now invited for a new £30 million fund available from 2008-11, which provides recoverable grants to institutions for projects that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Quality assurance is no obstacle for employer engagement

06 August 2008

The higher education (HE) sector does not view quality assurance issues as a barrier to engaging with employers, according to a report published today by HEFCE.

New Chair of JISC appointed

04 August 2008

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, has been appointed as the new Chair of JISC from 1 January 2009. The appointment was announced today by HEFCE, on behalf of the UK funding bodies (Note 1).

Head of Learning and Teaching appointed

01 August 2008

HEFCE is pleased to announce that Heather Fry has been appointed Head of Learning and Teaching at HEFCE from 10 November 2008.

Start of matched funding scheme for voluntary giving 2008-2011

01 August 2008

A new £200 million scheme designed to increase voluntary giving to higher education (HE) providers starts today. The scheme, administered by HEFCE, is the first of its kind in the UK and seeks to achieve a step change in voluntary giving across the HE sector.

HEFCE to lead a debate on developing local higher education provision

24 July 2008

HEFCE announced today that it will lead a consultation with a wide range of organisations to identify ways communities can bid for funds for a higher education (HE) centre or university campus.

£9.84 million awarded to safeguard UK's research journals and provide central access point for academic community

17 July 2008

Funded by HEFCE, the UK Research Reserve (UKRR) will be hosted by the British Library.This central repository will release up to 100 kilometres of shelf space, saving the sector up to £29 million in capital funds.

Concordat supports academic researchers

14 July 2008

A new agreement setting out clear expectations for researchers, research managers, research institutions, and funders of research was recently launched. The 'Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers' describes standards, expectations and responsibilities for the proper management and development of academic researchers in universities and higher education colleges across the UK.

Universities' influence on economy grows

10 July 2008

The Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey, published today, reveals that higher education's contribution to the economy continued to grow in 2006-07, reaching record levels. UK higher education institutions (HEIs) received £2.64 billion from business and community interaction in 2006-07. This is a 17 per cent rise from the last survey (for 2005-06).

HEFCE provides £11 million to support workforce development

07 July 2008

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has provided Anglia Ruskin University and Harper Adams University College with a total of more than £11 million that will enable them to provide new services to businesses.

Launch of National Aimhigher Awards Scheme 2008

01 July 2008

HEFCE and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills have this week opened nominations for the 2008 National Aimhigher Awards Scheme. The awards celebrate the work being undertaken by Aimhigher learners and partnerships across the country.

Twenty-two institutions to pilot REF bibliometrics

01 July 2008

As part of developing the Research Excellence Framework, HEFCE has launched a pilot exercise in the construction of bibliometric indicators of research quality.

HEFCE welcomes NAO report on widening participation in higher education

25 June 2008

A National Audit Office report on the progress and development of widening participation in higher education, published today has been welcomed by HEFCE. The report, titled 'Widening participation in higher education' examines national trends in participation, and the progress made by the HE sector in addressing some of the barriers to widening participation.

Call to involve disabled people in HEFCE policy making

24 June 2008

HEFCE wishes to invite people with disabilities and those in higher education who support them to become involved in HEFCE policy making over the next 12 months. Anyone wishing to do so is invited to express their interest by 1 August 2008.

David Eastwood appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham

16 June 2008

Professor David Eastwood, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham with effect from April 2009.

HEFCE achieves top rating for organisational excellence

11 June 2008

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) has awarded HEFCE the top score of five stars in its 'Recognised for Excellence' award. This prestigious award means HEFCE has been recognised as an organisation that uses good practice in all areas of its operations.

Action plan sets out vision for a sustainable sector

10 June 2008

HEFCE has published a consultation on its next three-year strategy to drive sustainable development in the higher education (HE) sector. The strategy aims to enrich and support HE's contribution to the wider sustainable development agenda.

Widening participation indicators for higher education are improving

05 June 2008

The tenth set of UK higher education (HE) performance indicators, published today (see note 1) shows improvements across all three of the key indicators for widening participation. The indicators are better for the most recent year's data (2006-07) and also show a general trend of improvements over the past five years.

Director for Research, Innovation and Skills appointed

04 June 2008

HEFCE is pleased to announce the appointment of David Sweeney as Director for Research, Innovation, and Skills.

Research Excellence Framework moves to pilot phase

29 May 2008

Development of the new Research Excellence Framework (REF) is moving ahead with a pilot exercise using the bibliometric techniques that will underpin this new approach to the funding and assessment of research.

HEFCE improves engagement with institutions

23 May 2008

HEFCE has appointed three associate directors as part of a new organisational structure to help manage relationships with universities and colleges more effectively. The holders of these new positions will work with HEFCE regional consultants and others in the Council to develop and maintain effective, collaborative relationships with our stakeholders both regionally and nationally.

Vacancies on strategic advisory committees

20 May 2008

Do you have the expertise and vision to contribute to our strategic advisory committees?

New Chair of JANET(UK) appointed

15 May 2008

HEFCE announced today the appointment of Roger McClure as Chair of JANET(UK), the organisation that supports the UK's academic digital network. He will take up the appointment on 1 August, succeeding Professor Geoff Peters.

Growth in students on foundation degrees is on track to meet government target

06 May 2008

The growth in the number of students studying on foundation degree programmes is on track to meet the government target of 100,000 by 2010, according to a report published today by HEFCE.

Research Excellence Framework moves ahead

24 April 2008

HEFCE is moving forward with arrangements for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) following the announcement today by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Lifelong Learning Networks will help to increase opportunities for vocational learners

11 April 2008

An interim report published today by HEFCE shows that Lifelong Learning Networks (LLNs) will help to gradually improve the progression opportunities for vocational learners.

Research into university league tables shows room for improvement

08 April 2008

Research published today by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) analyses league tables that provide rankings of universities for newspapers and on the web. It also looks at how universities and colleges in England respond to such rankings. While there is clearly a demand for league tables among prospective students and others, many feel dissatisfied with the way they are compiled.

HEFCE secures physics collaboration in South East England

07 April 2008

HEFCE has approved funding of £12.5 million to bring together, promote and sustain physics provision in six departments in South East England so that they can develop and support the regional and national economy. Total additional funding over the next seven years including resources provided by the universities and partner organisations will be £27.8 million.

HEFCE provides £8.3 million to boost workforce development

01 April 2008

The Universities of Teesside, Staffordshire and Cumbria, and Worcester College of Technology are developing new relationships with employers to support business growth and employee development, supported by more than £8 million of HEFCE funding.

'Innovation Nation' White Paper highlights role of higher education

13 March 2008

HEFCE welcomed today the Government's science and innovation White Paper 'Innovation Nation'.

Timetable for consultation on new 'University Challenge'

11 March 2008

HEFCE has welcomed the request from the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham that we should conduct a consultation into the development of new higher education or university centres in areas of under-provision.

HEFCE announces HEIF 4 funding allocations

06 March 2008

HEFCE announced today allocations for each higher education institution (HEI) under the fourth round of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF 4).

HEFCE supports higher education in England with increased funding of £7.5 billion

06 March 2008

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced today that it will make available £7,476 million in funding for universities and colleges in England for 2008-09. This represents a 3.3 per cent increase in total grant over the current year (2007-08).

New higher education centres to broaden provision

03 March 2008

HEFCE has warmly welcomed the consultation announced today by Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham, to open up significant new opportunities for developing new centres of higher education in towns and cities. The consultation, titled, 'A new "University Challenge"' aims to bring the benefits of higher education to areas of under-provision.

Rama Thirunamachandran appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Keele University

28 February 2008

HEFCE's Director of Research, Innovation and Skills, Rama Thirunamachandran, has been appointed the next Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Keele University.

Favourability towards HEFCE continues to grow

28 February 2008

An independent survey of universities and further education colleges offering higher education shows that favourability towards HEFCE has risen steeply over the past seven years.

Widening participation and fair access research strategy

26 February 2008

HEFCE has published a research and evaluation strategy that will help gain a deeper understanding of factors that affect participation in higher education.

HEFCE to provide £105 million to expand employer engagement courses

21 February 2008

HEFCE will provide at least £105 million over the next three years to support the development of courses where the cost is jointly shared by the individual, the state and the employer.

Report on student retention welcomed

20 February 2008

HEFCE welcomes a report on student retention published today by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons.

Aimhigher funding secured for next three years

19 February 2008

The national programme to widen participation in higher education will distribute £74.1 million per year to partnerships for a further three years.

Widening participation in language study

07 February 2008

Routes into Languages, a HEFCE-funded programme designed to increase and widen participation in language study, has been launched. The programme targets Key Stages 4 and 5 and higher education (HE), and aims to support the national role of HE languages as a motor for economic and civic regeneration. The funding for the three-year, £8 million programme is provided by HEFCE and the Department for Children, Schools and Families. There are over 50 universities involved.

HEFCE awards £9.6 million to support scientific research alliance

05 February 2008

HEFCE has awarded £9.6 million to support the bringing together of two research intensive universities as part of the Birmingham Science City.

HEFCE announces £2.4 billion in capital funding

31 January 2008

HEFCE has announced the distribution of £2.4 billion in capital funding for learning and teaching, research and infrastructure over the next three years.

Report calls for HEFCE to be the catalyst and facilitator for sustainable development

31 January 2008

A review of sustainable development in the higher education (HE) sector carried out for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has been published today. The review suggests that, although a great deal has been done, the momentum for change needs to continue and increase if HE institutions are to maximise their role in improving the environment, preserving natural resources and making an economic and social impact.

HEFCE and Salix launch fund to reduce greenhouse gases

28 January 2008

Higher education institutions (HEIs) in England will benefit from a new fund to provide repayable grants for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This fund will be a partnership between HEFCE and Salix Finance Ltd (Salix) with both parties committing significant funds. HEFCE and Salix expect that there will be a combined total of around £30-40 million to distribute over the three years from 2008.

JANET wins e-Government Shared Services Award

24 January 2008

The UK academic network, JANET has won in the shared services category of the e-Government National Awards 2007, announced on Tuesday 22 January (Note 1). The awards recognise the UK's best e-government and technology-driven services.

HEFCE welcomes funding increase for access

24 January 2008

HEFCE has welcomed a report by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) which records that universities spent a quarter of their additional fee income on access measures in 2006-07.

Grant announcement for higher education 2008-09

21 January 2008

HEFCE has received the annual grant letter from the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills on higher education funding for 2008-09, which it will consider in detail at the meeting of the Board on 24 January.