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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Professor Dame Shirley Pearce CBE [Note 2] has been asked to chair the group by the funding bodies of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland [Note 3].

The Steering Group will lead and shape the debate about how best quality assessment should be conducted in the future. It will oversee the mechanisms to gather a wide range of perspectives and the fora to ensure that these are heard, discussed, and considered carefully. The Group will gather intelligence on the operation of quality assessment in other international systems and in other sectors within the UK. It will draw on evidence from experts as it deems appropriate.

Professor Dame Shirley Pearce said:

‘In a fast-changing higher education environment, we need to anticipate future needs and ensure that quality assessment remains fit for purpose. This review is an opportunity to step back and ask what the very best quality assessment for our increasingly diverse higher education provision should look like over the next decade.

‘The Group’s first task will be to help the funding bodies to obtain views from a broad range of higher education providers, students and other stakeholders on future quality assessment arrangements.’


  1. The Group’s membership details are available.
  2. Professor Dame Shirley Pearce CBE is the former Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University and is a HEFCE Board member.
  3. The funding bodies are, respectively, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). HEFCE, HEFCW and DEL are legally responsible for securing provision for assessing the quality of education in institutions for whose activities they provide, or are considering providing, financial support. The Scottish Funding Council, in partnership with Universities Scotland and National Union of Students Scotland, will separately review the approach to assessing quality in Scottish universities, in a parallel process following a similar timescale.
  4. For further information see HEFCE's announcement on quality assessment in UK higher education, 7 October 2014.