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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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REF2014 shows UK university research leads the world

17 December 2014

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), announced today, demonstrate the world-leading quality of research conducted in UK universities. For the first time in an exercise of this kind, the REF also highlights the wide-ranging and significant benefits that UK research brings to the economy and society.

UK the best place in the world to undertake research: HEFCE response to the Government’s Science and Innovation Strategy

17 December 2014

The UK research system is world class, delivering significant impact and substantial benefits for our economy and society.

Graduates say finance is a key barrier to postgraduate education

16 December 2014

New HEFCE research based on the Intentions After Graduation Survey (IAGS) 2013 shows that over half of graduates who plan to go onto postgraduate study end up not doing so because of finance issues.

Sustainable development in higher education

16 December 2014

A new framework reviews HEFCE’s role to date and sets out the actions it will take to support the sector.

Higher education and local growth: launch of local profiles data

10 December 2014

HEFCE has published a new interactive data toolkit based on local higher education profiles.

Quality-related research funding is irreplaceable, say universities

09 December 2014

HEFCE has published a review of the use and impact of its quality-related research (QR) funding, which demonstrates the irreplaceable value universities place on this income stream.

HEFCE invests £200 million to support an increase in high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics students

08 December 2014

The Government has confirmed the 73 universities and colleges that will receive a share of £200 million funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching capital projects during 2015-16.

Ten thousand bursaries for ten thousand students in 2015

04 December 2014

The Government’s Autumn Statement addresses the gap in taught postgraduate finance through a three-stage plan [Note 1].

Select committee endorses importance of HEFCE knowledge exchange funding

01 December 2014

We welcome the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee's endorsement of the importance of HEFCE’s support for higher education knowledge exchange through Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

HEFCE report highlights the growing transnational nature of English higher education

27 November 2014

New research by HEFCE looks for the first time at how students on UK higher education programmes delivered overseas move on to first degree courses delivered in England.

Multi-million pound fund to boost UK university spin-outs and research

26 November 2014

Research from universities across the South of England could be commercialised and turned into successful businesses faster than ever before, thanks to a multi-million pound project announced today (November 26) by Minister for Universities and Science, Greg Clark MP.

Universities and colleges step up support for social entrepreneurs

21 November 2014

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are working together to build a national ‘ecosystem’ of support for social entrepreneurs through a series of new partnerships announced by HEFCE and UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

The Student Engagement Partnership

10 November 2014

HEFCE is providing funding for the Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) to support, develop and promote student engagement activity in the higher education sector in England.

The importance of people and partnership in university-business links

05 November 2014

HEFCE welcomes the statement of the UK’s expert knowledge exchange practitioner bodies on universities’ principles and practices in managing their intellectual assets (Note 1).

Responses to independent review of metrics

04 November 2014

A summary of responses to a call for evidence on the use of metrics in research assessment has been published by HEFCE.

Quality Assessment Review Steering Group announced

27 October 2014

A Quality Assessment Review Steering Group has been established, consisting of representatives from the higher education sector including the National Union of Students [Note 1].

UK review of National Student Survey – the next phase

24 October 2014

The review of the National Student Survey is entering a phase of testing and development.

Future financial challenges facing the higher education sector

24 October 2014

A review of the financial health of higher education institutions published by HEFCE concludes that the higher education sector in England faces significant financial challenges over the next three years.

£110 million for research into personalised cancer treatments

23 October 2014

A new university and business partnership is receiving £35 million of public investment in research to drive innovation and growth.

The role of universities in city and local growth

22 October 2014

HEFCE welcomes the final report of the City Growth Commission (Note 1), including its specific analysis of the role of universities (Note 2).

Encouraging greater diversity in governing bodies

21 October 2014

HEFCE’s January 2013 grant letter from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills highlighted the lack of diversity among institutional governing bodies, and the relatively low proportions of women, people from a black or minority ethnic group and disabled people in senior management positions in the higher education sector. It asked HEFCE to continue working with the sector and Equality Challenge Unit to address these longstanding issues.

Evaluating impact assessment in the REF

20 October 2014

An evaluation of the assessment process for impact in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) is now under way.

Pharmacy consultation outcomes published

15 October 2014

HEFCE and Health Education England (HEE) have published the responses to a consultation on the supply of pharmacy graduates in England.

Views on an international REF invited

14 October 2014

HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

Quality assessment in UK higher education

07 October 2014

The higher education (HE) funding bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland [Note 1] are to seek views on future approaches to the assessment of quality in higher education [Note 2]. Based on the feedback we receive, we will then invite tenders under a joint procurement exercise. This will ensure transparency and demonstrate value for money.

What difference does having a university in your area make?

01 October 2014

HEFCE has published new data exploring the link between economic growth and higher education provision. The interactive data toolkit identifies ‘cold spots’ in higher education provision and participation across England.

Annual procurement survey results

30 September 2014

HEFCE has received the results of the most recent Efficiency Measurement Model survey, through which universities report on the efficiencies achieved through improved procurement methods.

Funding for ‘anchor institutions’, technical skills and small and specialist institutions

26 September 2014

HEFCE is announcing three dedicated calls for bids to the Catalyst Fund, in line with its own and government priorities. The Catalyst Fund enables HEFCE to deliver its strategic aims for higher education in research, teaching and knowledge exchange. These calls for expressions of interest cover three specific areas.

REF impact case studies to be analysed

22 September 2014

A new project will analyse the wider impact of the research undertaken by UK universities.

HEFCE response to written ministerial statement on changes to Disabled Students' Allowance

12 September 2014

HEFCE is committed to working with universities, colleges and others to ensure as far as possible that disabled students are properly supported to succeed in their studies and in future employment.

£60 million of public and private investment for new leading-edge graphene research facility

10 September 2014

Funding announced today by the Chancellor will support the construction of a Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the University of Manchester. The GEIC will play a key role in exploiting and maintaining the UK’s world-leading position in graphene and related 2-D materials.

Significant increase in students entering postgraduate research with prior PG qualifications

09 September 2014

New HEFCE analysis shows that the proportion of students entering postgraduate (PG) research degrees with a prior PG qualification has increased from 33 per cent to 59 per cent over the last 12 years [Note 1].

Register of higher education providers launched

05 September 2014

HEFCE has today published its first register of higher education providers. An authoritative reference point for a wide range of users, the register describes the powers that providers regulated in England have, and the controls that apply to them.

HEFCE funding for Jisc national data centre

04 September 2014

A new data centre, funded with £900,000 from HEFCE, will open up high-performance computing at a reasonable price to a consortium of universities and research institutes under a five-year agreement.

UK Research Partnership Investment Fund round 4

02 September 2014

A further £100 million is being allocated across the UK to develop research facilities to encourage collaboration and support excellent research.

BIS is seeking to appoint two new members to the HEFCE Board

28 August 2014

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) wishes to appoint two new members to the HEFCE Board.

HEFCE welcomes streamlined TRAC Guidance

21 August 2014

HEFCE welcomes the new streamlined guidance for the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) published by the TRAC Development Group (TDG). This will apply for reporting from the academic year 2014-15 onwards.

National Student Survey results hit 10-year high

12 August 2014

The satisfaction rate for students studying at UK universities and colleges has hit a 10-year high, with 86 per cent saying they are satisfied overall with their course, in this year's National Student Survey (NSS).

Data published on staff employed in the higher education sector

06 August 2014

HEFCE has published interactive data on the trends in employment of staff in the higher education sector for the ten years, 2003-04 to 2012-13. 2012-13 is the first year in which detailed information on job types is available.

Response to report on HEFCE’s role in learning and teaching enhancement

31 July 2014

This report, which was commissioned by the HEA at HEFCE’s request, reflects our commitment to independent review and evaluation of our work.

More students are staying on after their first year at university

31 July 2014

The percentage of full-time students remaining in higher education after their first year is at an all-time high according to HEFCE figures published today.

Data published on demand and supply in higher education subject areas

30 July 2014

HEFCE has published a large amount of interactive data on the current and future supply of graduates and postgraduates in all subjects.

Investing for future success of students: HEFCE response to OFFA report

23 July 2014

The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) published a report on 2015-16 access agreements today.

Report reveals positive impact of HEFCE funding on student success

17 July 2014

A report published today by HEFCE and OFFA [Note 1] shows that in 2012-13 universities and colleges in England significantly increased their investment in measures to widen access and improve success among students from low income and other under-represented groups.

£183 million for new leading-edge research facilities

09 July 2014

Three new university and business partnerships are receiving a total of £50 million of public investment in research projects to drive innovation and growth.

Major HEFCE study shows UK university students have become more satisfied over time

03 July 2014

The first large-scale analysis of the National Student Survey (NSS) looks at trends in the responses of more than 2 million final-year students over nine years [Note 1]. Overall student satisfaction has increased, but there is considerable variation between subjects of study, and between different student characteristics such as ethnicity.

Birkbeck awarded £1.47 million to pioneer ways to combine work and study

26 June 2014

Birkbeck, University of London, has received £1.47 million from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund to explore innovative approaches and opportunities for combining work and study.

Successful investment in carbon reduction with more to come

18 June 2014

Following an evaluation of the first three rounds of the HEFCE Revolving Green Fund, which confirmed the effectiveness of the scheme, a further £34 million will be invested.

Senior HEFCE executive receives honour

16 June 2014

HEFCE’s Deputy Chief Executive, Steve Egan, has been awarded a CBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

HEFCE congratulates new National Teaching Fellows

12 June 2014

A total of 55 academic staff have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships, the most prestigious awards for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning.

Universities drive growth across the UK

12 June 2014

British universities have long been world leaders in research and teaching and the last decade has seen them rise to the challenges and opportunities of the knowledge economy.

UK universities lead the world in research

11 June 2014

The UK has the most efficient and effective research base in the world, punching well above its weight.

Universities to contribute to new Science and Innovation Strategy for the UK

16 May 2014

The four UK higher education funding bodies and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have written to the heads of all UK higher education institutions inviting input into the science and innovation strategy.

Sustainable student housing from GreenPad

14 May 2014

GreenPad is a project at Staffordshire University to create environmentally sustainable housing stock within the private rental sector, for students to rent through the students' union letting service.

Revisions to the financial memorandum

02 May 2014

An analysis of the responses to HEFCE’s recent consultation on our financial memorandum with institutions has been published.

Using metrics to assess and manage research

01 May 2014

On behalf of the steering group for the independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment, HEFCE has launched a call for evidence to gather views and evidence relating to the use of metrics in research assessment and management.

Higher education fundraising workforce must at least double, if not triple, by 2022 to unlock fundraising potential

01 May 2014

A new report and toolkit set out practical steps to enable this to happen.

Sharp fall in part-time higher education linked to economic factors and public policy changes

29 April 2014

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) today publishes a new report, ‘Pressure from all sides: Economic and policy influences on part-time higher education’ [Note 1]. It shows that the sharp decline in part-time study since 2010-11 in publicly-funded higher education is likely to have been influenced by the recession, its aftermath, and public policy changes.

Consultation on science budget

25 April 2014

HEFCE welcomes the renewed commitment by Government to the importance of funding for excellence in science, as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Decline in part-time study isn’t about degrees

22 April 2014

The fall in part-time higher education study since 2009 is overwhelmingly concentrated in undergraduate qualifications other than first degrees. The much smaller reduction in full-time study in 2012-13 is in these qualifications.

Online tool to support postgraduate student choice in higher education

16 April 2014

A new web-site to help UK and international prospective postgraduate students find the right higher education courses for them is to be developed by the four UK higher education funding bodies [Note 1].

NCUB report on collaboration between universities and businesses

14 April 2014

The ‘State of the Relationship’ report by the National Centre for Universities and Business, sets out the important and varied relationships between universities and businesses.

HEFCE report reveals dramatic changes in English higher education

10 April 2014

‘Higher education in England 2014: Analysis of latest shifts and trends’ highlights some of the changes affecting students, courses, and universities and colleges.

HEFCE response to written ministerial statement on changes to Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)

07 April 2014

HEFCE is fully committed to working with universities, colleges and others to ensure as far as possible that when these changes to the DSA come into effect in 2015-16, those students most in need are properly supported and are able to succeed in their studies and in future employment.

New higher education campuses: Letter from BIS to HEFCE

03 April 2014

HEFCE has today received a letter from the Minister for Universities and Science on new higher education campuses.

Universities as anchors of the economy and society

03 April 2014

A research report published by HEFCE describes the achievements and challenges for universities in acting as ‘anchors’ of the economy and society.

National strategy for access and student success in higher education – driving forward change

03 April 2014

A national strategy developed by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to ensure that all those with the potential to benefit from higher education have equal opportunity to participate and succeed, has been published by the Government.

Independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment

02 April 2014

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, has asked HEFCE to review the role of metrics in research assessment and management.

Improving information for prospective students

03 April 2014

How to better understand decision-making behaviour and thus support students making choices about whether, what and where to study in higher education.

Graduates who combine adaptability with specialist knowledge most valued by employers

02 April 2014

A report released today by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) and funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has found that being able to adapt to change and perform different functions adds significant value to the specialist knowledge of graduates.

Decline in global demand for English higher education

02 April 2014

HEFCE analysis shows first dip in international student entrants to English higher education courses in nearly three decades

New policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework

28 March 2014

HEFCE and the other three UK funding bodies have published details of a new policy for open access relating to future research assessments after the current 2014 REF.

New HEFCE analysis shows significant link between factors such as ethnicity, gender and school type on achievement in higher education

27 March 2014

The most comprehensive study of its kind, published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), reveals the significant effect of factors such as ethnicity, gender, disadvantage and school type on the chances of students obtaining an upper second or first class degree in higher education.

HEFCE allocates £3.88 billion to universities and colleges in England for 2014-15

26 March 2014

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will allocate £3.88 billion to 130 universities and higher education colleges and 212 further education colleges for the academic year 2014-15.

Universities encouraged to make financial information more visible to students

25 March 2014

New guidance aims to help universities and colleges in England present information about income and expenditure on their web-sites in a way that is transparent and accessible to current students and the general public.

HEFCE respected and valued by stakeholders

24 March 2014

An independent survey has found that HEFCE is considered by its stakeholders to be highly respected, trusted and approachable [Note 1]. And 80 per cent are satisfied with their relationship with HEFCE – an overall improvement since previous surveys were undertaken in 2009 and 2007 [Note 2].

Institutions asked for feedback on REF

19 March 2014

Institutions participating in the REF have been invited to provide feedback. The deadline for responses is 2 May 2014.

Green Dragons: student-led sustainability

19 March 2014

Green Dragons is a scheme by the City University London Students’ Union (CULSU) to encourage City students to identify opportunities, big or small, to improve sustainability at the university or in the local community, create solutions and bring new projects to life. Members of staff are also invited to participate.

British Invention: Global Impact: BIS response to Witty

14 March 2014

The Government's response to the Witty Review shines a spotlight on the role of universities as anchors of local and national growth.

HEFCE comments on OFT 'Call for information' report

14 March 2014

We will consider with interest the OFT's report.

HEFCE is looking to appoint new members to its Strategic Advisory Committees

12 March 2014

HEFCE wishes to appoint new members to its Strategic Advisory Committees.

Significant future financial challenges for the higher education sector

04 March 2014

A review of university and college finances published by HEFCE concludes that the higher education sector in England was in sound overall financial health in 2012-13, and will remain so in 2013-14. However, the forecasts for 2013-14 do not reflect further significant funding reductions announced in the Government’s grant letter to HEFCE in February 2014.

Exeter students empowered to go green

17 February 2014

The Students’ Green Unit at the University of Exeter is an innovative two-year project funded by the NUS Students’ Green Fund, which enables students to encourage changes in behaviour by proposing and leading projects that engage with ethical and environmental issues.

More data on submissions to the REF

12 February 2014

The deadline for submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) was 29 November 2013. All 155 higher education institutions that intended to participate in the REF made their submissions by the deadline. Initial submissions data were reported on 5 December.

Funding for higher education in England for 2014-15: HEFCE grant letter from BIS

10 February 2014

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Minister for Universities and Science have today confirmed funding allocations to the Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) for financial year 2014-15.

New Board members announced

06 February 2014

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced two new members of the HEFCE Board.

Important changes to the access and student success information required by HEFCE (2014-15) and OFFA (2015-16)

06 February 2014

OFFA and HEFCE will not be requesting strategies for access and student success from higher education providers as planned.

POLAR3: A robust measure of young participation in HE

06 February 2014

A HEFCE report which analyses the latest Participation of Local Areas classification (known as POLAR3) concludes that neighbourhood wards are an accurate geography by which to measure young participation rates in higher education (HE).

Strategies for Access and Student Success and provisional student number control allocations for 2014-15

23 January 2014

HEFCE and OFFA wrote to all HEFCE-funded institutions in November 2013 to inform them that we would be publishing guidance for Strategies for Access and Student Success (SASS) on Thursday 23 January. HEFCE also previously said it intended to notify institutions of their provisional student number control allocations for 2014-15 on Friday 24 January.

Views sought on proposed networks for collaborative outreach

14 January 2014

HEFCE is consulting on proposals to support widening participation in higher education through networks for collaborative outreach.

A new project to investigate monographs and open access

16 January 2014

HEFCE has launched a new project to investigate the issues regarding open access publishing of monographs and other long-form scholarly works. The project, being undertaken in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council, aims to identify and draw together a body of evidence concerning monographs and open access publishing.

Students’ green projects

14 January 2014

In April 2013, HEFCE announced funding of £5 million to help students to engage with their universities and colleges to promote sustainable development. The Students’ Green Fund will enable students to work with their institutions to make universities and colleges even greener. It is managed by the National Union of Students. Over the next few months, we will feature a selection of the 25 projects which have been funded.

Response to the Office for Fair Trading call for information on undergraduate higher education in England

08 January 2014

In October 2013 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a call for information on the higher education (undergraduate) sector in England.