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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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The Council intends to consult the higher education sector on how to implement a requirement that research outputs submitted to any future Research Excellence Framework (REF) should be as widely accessible as possible at the time. This would not affect the current REF due to complete in 2014.

This announcement is in line with the clear policy direction for dissemination of publicly funded research findings set out by Government in its response to the Finch group report ‘Expanding access to research publications’. 

As the REF is a UK-wide exercise, the UK HE funding bodies will now take forward the development of proposals for implementing open access in future REFs, and will consult widely with all partners in research funding.