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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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HEFCE response to the Government’s review to improve university research funding

16 December 2015

As announced in the Spending Review, the Government is taking forward a review of the Research Excellence Framework to ensure future university research funding is allocated more efficiently, offers greater rewards for excellent research and reduces the administrative burden on institutions.

Proposals for UK Research Partnership Investment Fund round 5

16 December 2015

A further £200 million is being allocated across the UK to develop research facilities to encourage collaboration and support excellent research.

The new Prevent duty: Monitoring framework for higher education providers

30 November 2015

HEFCE has published a framework setting out how it will monitor compliance with the new Prevent duty in the higher education sector in England. Higher education providers will need to submit a self-assessment of their levels of preparedness in January, followed by more detailed information later the year.

Introduction of loans for masters students from 2016-17

26 November 2015

The Government’s Autumn Statement confirms the availability of £10,000 loans for students under 60 wanting to take masters degrees from 2016-17. HEFCE welcomes the introduction of the loans and looks forward to working with the Government to review how they affect participation at masters level.

Proposals to reform quality assessment broadly supported

20 November 2015

The three higher education funding bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have published an analysis of responses to their consultation on future approaches to quality assessment.

HEFCE response to Nurse review

19 November 2015

Sir Paul Nurse’s review is an important statement of the principles underpinning public support for research.

Understanding high-performing university research units

17 November 2015

HEFCE has published a report on the characteristics of high-performing research units, which provides key insights and a better understanding of strategic approaches to excellent research in UK university research units.

Student protection

11 November 2015

HEFCE, GuildHE, the Association of Colleges, the National Union of Students, Study UK, the Independent Universities Group and Universities UK announce the publication of the jointly developed Statement of Good Practice on higher education course changes and closures.

Falling surpluses risk sustainability of higher education sector

10 November 2015

A review of the financial health of higher education institutions published by HEFCE concludes that future projected surplus levels are not sufficient to sustain the higher education sector in England. There is also significant variation in the financial performance and capital investment plans of individual institutions, and a widening gap between the lowest- and highest-performing institutions.

HEFCE response to BIS Green Paper

06 November 2015

The Government’s higher education Green Paper sets out proposals to place students at the centre of a reshaped higher education landscape, with a focus on improving the quality of teaching, widening participation, and enhancing student choice.

Knowledge exchange funding delivers £9.70 for every pound invested

26 October 2015

New research [Note 1] shows that HEFCE funding for university knowledge exchange (KE) activity delivers significant and increasing return for public investment.

HEFCE highly respected by stakeholders

12 October 2015

An independent survey [Note 1] has found that HEFCE is considered by its stakeholders to be highly respected, trusted and approachable [Note 2]. There is widespread and increased recognition of HEFCE’s role as a broker between Government and the higher education sector, and 94 per cent of respondents believe that HEFCE implements Government policy effectively [Note 3].

Additional reports supporting consultation on changes to the National Student Survey and Unistats

08 October 2015

The UK funding bodies for higher education have published two further research reports that provide supporting evidence for the consultation published on 1 October.

Enhanced version of the HEFCE Register of Higher Education Providers

07 October 2015

After a successful first year in which the Register has shown its value to users, we are enhancing it further and continuing to encourage its use.

Opportunity to join the HEFCE Audit Committee

06 October 2015

We are looking to appoint a new member to the HEFCE Audit Committee

HEFCE's new Bristol office

05 October 2015

HEFCE is moving Bristol headquarters on Monday 12 October.

Consultation on changes to the National Student Survey and Unistats

01 October 2015

The UK funding bodies for higher education have published a joint consultation on changes arising from their review of information about learning and teaching, and the student experience.

Differences in employment outcomes: equality and diversity

01 October 2015

Four-fifths of students who graduated in the 2008 recession are now professionally employed or undertaking further study.

‘Prevent’ duty: consultation on proposed monitoring approach for higher education providers

22 September 2015

HEFCE is consulting on its proposed approach to monitoring compliance with the new ‘Prevent’ duty in the higher education sector in England. The duty means that governors and proprietors of institutions must have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

£4 million awarded to 12 projects to pilot measures of learning gain

21 September 2015

A total of 12 collaborative projects, including over 70 universities and colleges, will receive £4 million over three years to run pilot projects that will test and evaluate measures of learning gain in English higher education.

HEFCE publishes analysis of 2014-15 Postgraduate Support Scheme pilots

17 September 2015

The report evaluates and summarises findings from the £25 million initiative, which involved 40 higher education institutions in 20 projects to support and improve progression to taught postgraduate education.

Who you are and what you study influences your degree level

16 September 2015

Entry qualifications, gender, ethnicity, disadvantage, previous school type, subject area, mode of study, age and disability all play a part in degree outcomes.

Unistats – official source for info on universities and colleges now updated

03 September 2015

Now ready for 2016 applicants, the Unistats website provides information on undergraduate courses.

Nominees invited for the Board of the Higher Education Academy

20 August 2015

We are seeking a nominee from the higher education sector to represent the four UK higher education funding bodies on the Board of Directors of the Higher Education Academy.

Response to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report on graduate employment

19 August 2015

Evidence from the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey suggests that, far from being under-employed, the majority of graduates are in jobs that use their skills.

An analysis of staff selection for REF 2014

14 August 2015

HEFCE has published a study investigating the impact of disability, age, sex, ethnicity, nationality and early career researcher status on the selection of staff for inclusion in the REF 2014.

Student satisfaction remains high at UK universities and colleges

12 August 2015

The satisfaction rate for students studying at UK higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education colleges (FECs) remains high with 86 per cent saying they are satisfied overall with their course in this year's National Student Survey (NSS). A further 7 per cent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their higher education experience; and only 7 per cent were dissatisfied (5 per cent) or strongly dissatisfied (2 per cent).

‘Prevent’ duty: Consultation on proposed monitoring approach for higher education providers

12 August 2015

HEFCE is consulting on its proposed approach to monitoring compliance with the new ‘Prevent’ duty in the higher education sector in England. The duty means that governors and proprietors of institutions must have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Helpful steps to postgraduate taught courses

05 August 2015

‘Steps to Postgraduate Study’ is a new website providing information for students who are making decisions about postgraduate taught (PGT) study.

First insights into UK interdisciplinary research

30 July 2015

A report exploring international comparisons with UK interdisciplinary research highlights an increasing global trend towards interdisciplinarity, and confirms the UK’s world-leading research performance.

Improving policing through HE research: Successful bidders for fund announced

30 July 2015

The College of Policing has today announced 14 successful bids for the Police Knowledge Fund.

Opportunity to join a HEFCE strategic advisory committee

29 July 2015

We are looking to appoint a member to the Teaching Excellence & Student Opportunity (TESO) Strategic Advisory Committee.

HEFCE announces drive to ensure students from diverse backgrounds succeed in higher education

23 July 2015

Record levels of people from lower-income families are now entering higher education. Similarly, the numbers of students with disabilities, and from black or ethnic minority groups, are continuing to increase. However, these groups still underachieve in terms of degree results, progression into further study and graduate-level employment.

Reductions to HEFCE teaching grant for 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years

22 July 2015

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has notified HEFCE of the need to make £150 million of savings from the HEFCE teaching grant. [Note 1]

£1.6 million HEFCE Catalyst funding for higher apprenticeships in partnership with business

16 July 2015

HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund is supporting the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to develop a new education pathway for apprentices to continue their studies through foundation, bachelor and masters level.

UK universities power nationwide growth

16 July 2015

The results of the 2013-14 Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey highlight an increase of 10 per cent in the volume of interactions between universities and the economy and society, from £3.6 billion in 2012-13 to over £3.9 billion in 2013-14.

Fixing the foundations: HEFCE response to Government’s productivity plan

13 July 2015

Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, responds to the Government’s productivity plan.

Understanding the costs of the REF

13 July 2015

An independent report provides a comprehensive insight into the varied costs and benefits arising from participation in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Metrics cannot replace peer review in the next REF

08 July 2015

The findings of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management have been published.

Call for evidence to support review of computer science

07 July 2015

HEFCE is supporting an independent review into computer science degree provision and graduate employability led by Sir Nigel Shadbolt.

HEFCE funding vital to university-business collaborations

02 July 2015

HEFCE welcomes the Dowling Review report of Business-University Research Collaborations published today.

HEFCE welcomes speech by the Universities Minister, Jo Johnson

01 July 2015

On 1 July the Universities Minister addressed an audience at Universities UK on 'Teaching at the heart of the system'.

New approach to ensure high-quality learning and teaching in universities and colleges

29 June 2015

The funding bodies for higher education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as part of their statutory responsibilities, are consulting on a new approach to quality assessment to meet the future needs of students, employers and the sector.

Report reveals continuing investment of HEFCE Student Opportunity (SO) allocation in activity to widen access and improve student success

25 June 2015

A report published by HEFCE shows that in 2013-14 universities and colleges in England significantly increased their investment in measures to widen access and improve success for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The report demonstrates that the HEFCE SO allocation is the largest single source of funding contributing to activity to widen access and support student success, and that institutions are investing it strategically to support students throughout the student lifecycle.

National consortium to improve research visibility and collaboration

23 June 2015

ORCID, a way of identifying researchers which enables a range of improvements to scholarly communications, is being offered to UK higher education institutions through a new national consortium.

HEFCE welcomes new Chair of Financial Sustainability Strategy Group

19 June 2015

HEFCE welcomes Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark E Smith as the new Chair of the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group (FSSG).

New school and college linking tool

12 June 2015

A new linking tool enables schools and colleges to identify their National Network for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO).

Transnational students are changing the pattern of international student recruitment in higher education in England

09 June 2015

A report published by HEFCE shows that students starting their first degrees through transnational pathways (a total of 17,140 in 2013-14) have higher progression rates into postgraduate study than other international students.

Universities and SMEs working together for places and people

28 May 2015

New interactive maps released by HEFCE describe the size, industry sector distribution and characteristics of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across England.

Changing the learning landscape

27 March 2015

Students, practitioners and university leaders from across 145 UK universities and colleges have taken part in a ground-breaking HEFCE-funded programme, led by the Leadership Foundation, to advance technology-enhanced student learning.

Two new board members for HEFCE

27 March 2015

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) today welcomed Sir Keith Burnett and Professor Mary Stuart to the HEFCE board. Mark Robson was re-appointed for a further three years. All three appointments were approved by the Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark.

Future financial challenges for higher education

27 March 2015

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 2013-14.

New Centre for Global Higher Education announced

26 March 2015

HEFCE is co-funding with the Economic and Social Research Council the first research centre in this country dedicated to the investigation of higher education and its future.

HEFCE allocates £3.97 billion to universities and colleges in England for 2015-16

25 March 2015

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will allocate £3.97 billion to 130 universities and higher education colleges and 214 further education and sixth form colleges for the academic year 2015-16.

Minister announces HEFCE funding for N8 Partnership programme

25 March 2015

The Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark, has today announced that HEFCE has awarded the N8 Research Partnership a grant of £7,999,254 through its Catalyst Fund (Note 1) to develop the Agri-Food Resilience Programme.

£100 million awarded to seven new leading edge research projects in the UK

25 March 2015

Following the fourth round of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), seven outstanding university research projects will receive over £100 million of investment in 2016-17 to drive innovation and economic growth.

University research has wide and varied benefits

25 March 2015

A new analysis of impact case studies from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) shows that research carried out by the UK’s universities has wide and varied benefits to the economy, society, culture, policy, health, the environment and quality of life, within the UK and overseas.

£400 million for next round of research capital investment

18 March 2015

HEFCE welcomes the Government’s announcement in the Budget of an additional £400 million for the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).

FSSG report: The sustainability of learning and teaching in higher education in England

12 March 2015

The Financial Sustainability Strategy Group (FSSG) has updated its 2008 assessment of the sustainability of learning and teaching in higher education in England.

Research to assess the nature and annual value of student start-ups

11 March 2015

A new report summarises exploratory research considering ways to provide evidence on the value of student enterprise, including student start-ups and the contribution of students to spin-outs, from English HEIs.

Changes to the HEFCE website

11 March 2015

Today we have introduced some changes to our website.

Project set to boost higher technical education in colleges across the country

04 March 2015

The Association of Colleges (AoC) has been awarded £2.75 million by the HEFCE Catalyst Fund to enhance the learning of higher education students in colleges. The project will see teachers working closely with employers to ensure they are passing on the most up-to-date industry knowledge to their students. A further £1 million will be provided by local employers and the participating colleges.

STEM accreditation reviews launched

26 February 2015

The announcement of the Government’s science and innovation strategy in December included a commission to establish a general review of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and a specific review of computer science degree accreditation arrangements. The reviews will explore issues around graduate employability and consider options for how they could be addressed.

New HEFCE report shines further light on young participation in higher education

26 February 2015

New HEFCE research looks at how many young people go on to higher education from A-levels and similar Level 3 qualifications.

Steve Egan appointed to senior post at the University of Bath

25 February 2015

Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance at HEFCE, has been appointed to the post of Vice-President (Implementation) at the University of Bath with effect from 1 May 2015.

Police Knowledge Fund opens for bids

19 February 2015

A £10 million fund to support closer working between higher education and the police opens for applications today.

The future of quality assessment in higher education: what approaches do other sectors and countries take?

04 February 2015

HEFCE has published two studies to support our discussion with stakeholders about future approaches to quality assessment.

HEFCE Business Plan 2015-2020 launched

05 February 2015

HEFCE’s Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, has today launched HEFCE’s Business Plan 2015-2020 at the HEFCE 2015 Annual Conference at the University of London

Funding for higher education in England for 2015-16: HEFCE grant letter from BIS

30 January 2015

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 Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for financial year 2015-16.

HEFCE to support closer working between higher education and police

28 January 2015

HEFCE is contributing to a new initiative to support more effective responses to cutting crime.

2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) reports published

27 January 2015

A number of documents have been published on the REF web-site.

Major HEFCE study of monographs and open access sheds light on complex issues

21 January 2015

The Monographs and Open Access Project considers the place of monographs in the arts, humanities and social science disciplines, and how they fit into the developing world of open access to research. It concludes that open access for monographs has a great deal to contribute to scholarly communication, but that the challenges of introducing it will be real and policy should take account of the various issues identified in the report.

New service to support open access in the post-2014 REF

19 January 2015

HEFCE has agreed to fund the development of a new shared service to support compliance with the policy for open access in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). At its core, this new service will enable authors and universities to check whether a given publication is compliant with the open access policy (Note 1).

Submissions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) published

19 January 2015

The 1,911 submissions made by 154 UK universities to the 2014 REF have been published on the REF website. The submissions included 52,061 academic staff, 191,150 research outputs (such as journal articles, authored books and book chapters); and 6,975 case studies of the impact of research.

Bloomsbury Research Institute awarded £7.5 million by HEFCE Catalyst Fund

15 January 2015

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and UCL have been awarded a grant of £7.5 million from the HEFCE's Catalyst Fund to develop the Bloomsbury Research Institute, a partnership dedicated to addressing the global challenge of infectious disease.

The future of quality assessment in higher education

15 January 2015

HEFCE and the higher education funding bodies in Wales and Northern Ireland are seeking views on future approaches to quality assessment (Note 1).

How university income is spent: information for students

14 January 2015

HEFCE has identified good practice case studies of institutions presenting their financial information in a way that is accessible to students.

Survey shows good progress on EU funding for local growth

12 January 2015

Universities UK has published a survey, a joint initiative with HEFCE and the Department for Communities and Local Government, providing an initial assessment of how universities are preparing for the European Structural and Investment Funds programme 2014 – 2020 (ESIF).

National networks to help more young people access higher education

08 January 2015

A new £22 million scheme involving over 200 higher education institutions and reaching 4,300 secondary schools and colleges aims to encourage more young people into higher education.