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HEFCE commissioned Curtis and Cartwright Consulting to conduct the summative evaluation of its programme of support for Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects (SIVS). The evaluation considered:

  • the areas of impact, the extent to which HEFCE's interventions have made a lasting difference
  • effectiveness, identifying which interventions have been the most effective and whether the outcomes would have occurred without these interventions
  • value for money, whether HEFCE could have achieved greater value for money by adopting a different approach.

The evaluation concludes that interventions undertaken through the SIVS programme have:

  • been successful in avoiding heavy-handed market interference
  • enabled the programme to show leadership while remaining responsive to developments and initiatives by the sector
  • sustained provision

and that the overall SIVS programme has provided value for money. The evaluation findings will influence HEFCE's future policy and approach to SIVS.