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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Keith Burnett and Mary Stuart joined the HEFCE Board on 1 March 2015. Sir Keith replaces outgoing board member Sir Malcolm Grant and Professor Stuart replaces outgoing Board member John Widdowson.

Mark Robson will serve a further three-year term, until 30 June 2018.


Professor Sir Keith Burnett

Professor Sir Keith Burnett is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield. Previously, he was Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Prime-Minister’s Council of Science and Technology and of the Infrastructure Council which advises the Treasury on major investments, and serves on the Board of the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

A speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Sir Keith is also the Chair of the Sheffield Confucius Institute, and in 2014 was given an Award for Outstanding Personal Achievement by the People’s Republic of China for his contribution to the understanding of Chinese language and culture. He has advised the Chinese government on higher education policy and on teaching materials for Chinese language. Professor Burnett received a CBE for contributions to the scientific community in 2004, and was awarded a knighthood in 2013 for services to science and higher education.

Professor Mary Stuart

Mary Stuart has a strong track record in all aspects of university management, having worked in senior roles in three different universities. Since her appointment as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln in 2009 she has established and grown the first new Engineering School to be created in the UK for more than 20 years (in collaboration with Siemens plc) and successfully led the development of science provision at Lincoln (including the Schools of Chemistry, Pharmacy and Mathematics and Physics). She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and the Open University where she obtained her Doctorate in Social Policy in 1998. Her research interests are focused on life histories, social mobility, higher education students and community development.

Passionate about the student experience, Mary seeks to continually drive change and improvements in the partnership with students and the academic community, working closely with the Students’ Union at Lincoln.

Mary has been appointed to HEFCE’s new Teaching Excellence and Student Opportunity Strategic Advisory Committee and is also a member of the Higher Education Public Information Steering Group, as well as being Chair of Action on Access Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of the University Alliance, and a Board member of the Equality Challenge Unit.

Mark Robson

Mark Robson is Head of Statistics and Regulatory Data at the Bank of England and honorary treasurer of the Royal Economic Society. He joined the Bank in 1995 from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, where he was principal tax economist and statistician. Since then he has also been a member of the Council of City University, London (2002-11); Treasurer and fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University (of which he is an honorary research fellow) and honorary treasurer of the Royal Statistical Society (2003-7); and an International Monetary Fund Expert Adviser to the Royal Thai Finance Ministry (1998-9). Previously he was in turn a mathematics tutor, HM Inspector of Taxes, Government economic adviser and senior manager with KPMG.

He is a former Governor of London Metropolitan University. He is also a member of the governing councils of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, the Science Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.


  1. Members of the Board, including the Chair and Chief Executive, have collective responsibility for the control and management of the HEFCE as a corporate body. The Board is responsible for developing policies and ensuring that projects, programmes and activities undertaken by the HEFCE are consistent with the overall provisions of the Further and Higher Education Act and any guidance or directions issued by the Secretary of State.
  2. Membership of the HEFCE Board carries with it an honorarium of £5,000 per annum.
  3. Recruitment to the HEFCE Board follows the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies set by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments – previously known as OCPA. For more information, see The Commissioner for Public Appointments website.