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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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 four UK higher education funding bodies aim to further increase the proportion of research outputs published in open-access form by introducing this as a requirement in the next REF [Notes 1 and 2]. This is in line with the funding bodies’ policy that the outputs from all research supported by our funding should be as widely and freely accessible as the available channels for dissemination permit. 

The proposals set out the details for implementing this requirement, and were developed following the advice received by the funding bodies in response to our earlier letter on open access. The consultation document is available on the HEFCE web-site. It seeks comments on the proposed criteria for open access in the post-2014 REF, the definition of the research outputs to which the criteria should apply, and the proposed approaches to exceptions from the open access requirement. The proposals have no relevance to the current REF 2014 exercise.

We invite responses from higher education institutions and other groups, organisations and individuals with an interest in scholarly publishing and research. Responses to this consultation should be made online by 1700 on 30 October 2013, using the electronic response form which can be accessed alongside the consultation document.


  1. The four UK higher education funding bodies are: the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Scottish Funding Council.
  2. The Research Excellence Framework is a new system for assessing research, which has been developed to replace the Research Assessment Exercise.