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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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 welcomes the government response to the Dowling Review

21 December 2016

The Government has published a response to Dame Ann Dowling's Review of business-university collaborations, reaffirming its long-term commitment to knowledge exchange.

What do students want after graduation? And do they actually do it?

15 December 2016

A survey of the intentions of nearly 140,000 graduates finds few differences between what students from different backgrounds plan to do after graduation, but does find differences in how likely they are to fulfil their ambitions. The introduction of postgraduate loans might help to close the gap.

Teaching staff qualifications in higher education institutions

09 December 2016

HEFCE has published an overview of the teaching qualifications held by academic staff in HEFCE-funded higher education institutions in 2014-15, as collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)

08 December 2016

The four UK funding bodies for higher education have published a joint consultation on the arrangements for research assessment in a second Research Excellence Framework.

A new approach to widening participation in higher education

07 December 2016

HEFCE has announced a new programme to increase participation in higher education across England, the National Collaborative Outreach Programme.

HEFCE supports experimental innovation in learning and teaching

01 December 2016

Sixty-seven universities and colleges have been awarded £2.8 million to develop small-scale experimental innovations in learning and teaching.

HEFCE welcomes Prime Minister’s announcement of increased investment in research and development

21 November 2016

The Prime Minister has announced an additional £2 billion government investment per year for research and development by the end of this Parliament as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Financial health of the higher education sector: An uncertain outlook

10 November 2016

The latest financial forecasts submitted by higher education institutions to HEFCE show an increase in variability and a widening gap in the financial performance of individual institutions.

Thousands of new degree apprenticeships to be created through new multi-million pound development fund

10 November 2016

New degree apprenticeships are set to open the door to careers in everything from nursing to construction and food manufacturing, thanks to a multi-million pound fund.

UK-wide standing committee for quality assessment announced

02 November 2016

The four higher education funding bodies, Universities UK and GuildHE are pleased to announce that Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Northumbria University, has been appointed as Chair of the new UK-wide Standing Committee for Quality Assessment.

New learning gain project

02 November 2016

Approximately 27,000 students will be invited to take part in a new longitudinal study, the National Mixed Methodology Learning Gain Project, which involves 10 English universities. The project forms a key element of HEFCE’s wider programme of work on learning gain, which aims to understand how students’ knowledge and skills develop during the course of their degree.

Teaching Excellence Framework Year Two: HEFCE guidance published

31 October 2016

Higher education providers are now invited to apply for Year Two of the Teaching Excellence Framework. HEFCE has released guidance and metrics to support providers, and announced further details of panel members and assessors.

The framework: supporting world-class knowledge exchange

28 October 2016

HEFCE announces today a comprehensive package of support to keep English university knowledge exchange (KE) operating at world class standard [Note 1]. The package forms the next steps in delivery of the knowledge exchange performance framework, outlined in the higher education White Paper [Note 2].

Operating model for quality assessment: Annual Provider Review

24 October 2016

HEFCE is today publishing guidance on arrangements for Annual Provider Review (APR) in 2016-17 (Note 1). The APR is a key element of the revised operating model for quality assessment, which is designed to be proportionate, risk-based and grounded in the context of an individual university or college.

How satisfied are graduates with their degree choices?

20 October 2016

Most graduates are happy with the choices they made when they went to university, according to a report published by HEFCE. In general though, students from ethnic minority groups are less satisfied.

HEFCE to develop the next REF

13 October 2016

Following the publication of Lord Stern’s Independent Review of the Research Excellence Framework and confirmation from the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson, HEFCE will work with the other UK higher education funding bodies to develop the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Additional £120 million for collaboration and technology transfer

04 October 2016

HEFCE welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement on 1 October of new funding of £120 million to promote university collaboration to engage business effectively with the most promising technologies, and to incentivise university-business collaboration further.

New National Student Survey to strengthen student engagement and increase student voice

28 September 2016

The UK higher education funding bodies have launched a new National Student Survey (NSS) for 2017.

Understanding the interdisciplinary research environment

28 September 2016

HEFCE and Research Councils UK have published a review of the interdisciplinary research landscape in the UK, supported by a report examining 10 institutional case studies in English universities.

New Forum for Responsible Research Metrics launched

15 September 2016

A group of research funders, sector bodies and infrastructure experts are working in partnership to promote the responsible use of research metrics.

Panel members announced for Year Two Teaching Excellence Framework

15 September 2016

HEFCE has appointed members to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) panel including academics, students, employers and widening participation experts.

International competitiveness of UK university technology transfer practice

31 August 2016

A report from a group of university experts (Note 1) has presented evidence confirming the international competitiveness of UK university technology transfer practice.

Inequality persists for graduate employees

24 August 2016

Evidence shows that three-and-a-half years after leaving university 97 per cent of graduates were in employment or further study, but differences persist across demographic groups.

UK Universities focus on delivery and spur economic growth

17 August 2016

This year’s survey of interaction between UK universities and business shows that the total value of knowledge exchange interaction between UK universities and their partners across the economy has risen by over 6 per cent to £4.2 billion in 2014-15 (from £3.9 billion in 2013-14).

Continuity of government support for EU Research funding

15 August 2016

We welcome the Government’s safeguards to funding announced on Saturday to maintain the UK's status as a world leader in science, research and innovation.

Student satisfaction remains high across universities, colleges and alternative providers in the UK

08 August 2016

The results of this year’s National Student Survey show a high level of satisfaction among students studying at UK higher education institutions (HEIs), further education colleges (FECs) and alternative providers, with 86 per cent saying they are satisfied overall with their course.

Outcomes of consultation on changes to the National Student Survey, Unistats and information provided by institutions

01 August 2016

On behalf of the UK higher education funding bodies HEFCE has published the outcomes of the recent consultation on changes to the National Student Survey, Unistats and information provided by institutions.

Concordat on Open Research Data launched

28 July 2016

Four of the UK’s leading research organisations have launched a concordat that proposes a series of clear and practical principles for working with research data.

UK higher education funding bodies’ response to the independent review of the REF

27 July 2016

We welcome the findings of Lord Stern’s independent review of the Research Excellence Framework and its recognition of the importance of the REF in assessing the quality of research, providing accountability and benchmarking, and in supporting strategic decision making nationally and in institutions.

Transitions into postgraduate study

14 July 2016

This report looks at transitions from first degree qualification from English higher education institutions (HEIs) to postgraduate study. It considers students’ first instance of postgraduate enrolment and looks at trends across one-year, three-year and five-year transition periods. Multiple instances of postgraduate study are also considered, focusing on the route taken to reach graduates’ highest level of postgraduate study.

Report shows investing in academic excellence does lead to research impact

12 July 2016

A report for HEFCE by Digital Science reveals the scholarly significance of research underpins its societal impact.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Preparations under way

07 July 2016

HEFCE’s plans to prepare for implementation of the Year Two TEF are under way, following the launch of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) technical consultation.

24 projects shortlisted to bid for research capital funding

06 July 2016

Projects at 20 universities have been shortlisted to proceed to the full bid stage of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), to take forward leading-edge research in major capital developments.

BIS is seeking to appoint new members to the HEFCE Board

14 June 2016

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

Supporting widening access and successful student outcomes, including progression to taught postgraduate study

08 June 2016

HEFCE has launched a consultation on proposals for future investment to support widening access, successful student outcomes, including progression to taught postgraduate study.

STEM and computer sciences reviews show that improving employment outcomes is a shared responsibility

16 May 2016

Two reviews published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, looking at employment outcomes among science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates, find that responsibility for improving these outcomes needs to be shared between higher education providers, employers and students.

Competition and choice: HEFCE response to higher education White Paper

16 May 2016

The Government’s White Paper aims to put in place a simpler and more efficient higher education and research system which encourages competition and choice, drives up quality, and ensures greater accountability and value for money (Note 1).

Universities and councils join forces to help communities

13 May 2016

Leaders from universities and local authorities will be working together on a pilot project designed to help areas drive growth, re-design public services and strengthen the relationship between communities and academic institutions.

Revised operating model for quality assessment: Announcement of preferred bidders

13 May 2016

HEFCE is pleased to announce preferred bidders following an exercise to procure quality assessment services for the new operating model for quality assessment in higher education in England.

Diane Lees to chair HEFCE review of Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund

12 May 2016

We are delighted to announce that Diane Lees CBE, Director-General of Imperial War Museums, will chair the review of HEFCE’s Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund.

HEFCE to allocate £3.7 billion to 344 universities and colleges for 2016-17

06 May 2016

HEFCE is publicly announcing the funding for 131 higher education institutions and 213 further education colleges for the academic year 2016-17.

HEFCE to manage new Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund

11 April 2016

HEFCE has been asked by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to manage the Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund.

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

06 April 2016

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

New national outreach programme for students from disadvantaged backgrounds

23 March 2016

A new four-year outreach programme will help meet the Prime Minister’s challenging goal to double the participation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering higher education by 2020.

Financial health of sector

21 March 2016

HEFCE’s latest annual review of university and college finances concludes that the higher education sector in England was in sound overall financial health in the academic year 2014-15. However, it warns of an increased variability in the performance of individual institutions, with the gap between the lowest- and highest-performing on financial measures continuing to grow.

Revised approach to quality assessment in higher education

18 March 2016

HEFCE has today published a revised operating model for quality assessment in higher education in England. It heralds the next phase of the Quality Assessment Review initiated by DELNI, HEFCE and HEFCW in October 2014 as part of each funding body’s statutory responsibility for quality assessment in higher education [Note 1].

Funding of £3.7 billion for higher education in 2016-17

17 March 2016

Following decisions taken at the HEFCE Board meeting on 9 March, HEFCE will invest £3.7 billion in recurrent and capital funding for universities and colleges in the academic year 2016-17.

£1.7 million awarded to 28 projects to develop engineering and computer science conversion courses

11 March 2016

A total of 28 projects, involving 32 universities and colleges, will receive £1.7 million to develop a range of engineering and computer science conversion courses.

HEFCE publishes latest key data for English higher education

09 March 2016

HEFCE has published an update to its annual publication HE in England, on the English higher education (HE) sector.

Funding for higher education in England for 2016-17: HEFCE grant letter from BIS

04 March 2016

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Minister for Universities and Science have today confirmed funding allocations to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for financial year 2016-17.

Social innovation learning pilot projects funded by HEFCE

03 March 2016

HEFCE will fund six social innovation learning pilot projects totalling £98,000, following a social innovation ‘sandpit’ event.

New Head of Regulation and Assurance for HEFCE

15 February 2016

Susan Lapworth has been appointed as Director, Regulation and Assurance. She takes over this role following Heather Fry’s retirement from HEFCE.

Colleges continue to improve retention while recruiting strongly from disadvantaged backgrounds

10 February 2016

A report on higher education performance indicators highlights that further education colleges (FECs) continue to achieve higher proportions of entrants from backgrounds where people have traditionally not participated in higher education (known as low-participation neighbourhoods), when compared with higher education institutions (HEIs).

Understanding professional doctorates

06 January 2016

A review of professional doctorates, ‘Provision of professional doctorates in English HE institutions’ was commissioned by HEFCE and carried out by the Careers Research & Advisory Centre Ltd and the University of Brighton.