The report concludes that HEFCE has delivered value for money and has been cost-efficient in its approach to regulating financial sustainability in universities and colleges of higher education (HE), while maintaining the confidence of the sector.
The report acknowledges that HE is entering a period of transition to a very different financial regime which will require a new regulatory framework. The forthcoming White Paper on HE, being prepared by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, will address HEFCE's role in the future development of HE.
The report confirms that higher education institutions have improved their financial performance over recent years (see note Note 2)
Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:
'I am pleased that the National Audit Office has concluded that HEFCE has achieved a cost-efficient approach to ensuring the financial sustainability of the sector. It will be important that the future regulatory framework fully respects the autonomy of universities and colleges while ensuring these organisations continue to be responsible for the use of public funds and provide value for money. We will draw on the lessons from the NAO report and ensure that their recommendations are implemented.'