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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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 consultation asks for views on a more flexible approach to the student number control [Note 1]. It  has been developed in the context of the Government’s reforms to the funding and regulation of higher education in England [Note 2].

Each year HEFCE sets a student number control allocation for each institution it funds. The purpose of the control is to help manage public expenditure on higher education, while furthering the Government’s vision for a more diverse, dynamic higher education system that supports student choice and enables popular institutions to grow. For 2013-14, HEFCE is enabling universities and colleges to recruit to a certain level above their allocation without incurring a reduction in the grant they receive. In addition, students holding certain qualifications with high grades (currently set at ABB or above at A-level or certain equivalent qualifications) are exempt from the control.

The Government has asked HEFCE to consider how to increase this flexibility for 2014-15 and beyond for institutions with strong recruitment patterns. We were also asked to consider whether there is scope to extend the population of exempt students while maintaining the high-grade threshold at ABB (or above) at A-level or certain equivalent qualifications [Note 3].

The consultation asks for views on three aspects of the student number control:

  • the future operation of flexibility
  • bringing publicly-funded providers of higher education not currently in a direct relationship with HEFCE into the student number control system
  • exempting certain combinations of qualification types from the student number control.


  1. 'Student number controls Consultation on arrangements for 2014-15 onwards' (2013/10) is on the HEFCE web-site. It closes at 1700 on Friday 28 June 2013. Consultation events will be held on Monday 20 May 2013 and Thursday 30 May 2013. Stakeholders have been invited to these events – if you would like to request a place (should any become available) contact us via
  2. The Government's White Paper consultation ‘Higher education: students at the heart of the system’ is available.
  3. HEFCE’s guide to the student number controls and the letter from the Minister on plans for 2014-15.