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Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

1.   I would like to update you about future arrangements for sending publications and circular letters to universities and colleges. No action is required on your part.

2.   We are ending the practice of sending HEFCE Circular letters by post. Instead, circular letters will be e-mailed to heads of institutions.

3.   We are also further reducing the number of publications that we print and despatch.

4.   To ensure that institutions are kept informed, we will from January send a weekly summary of what we have published, via our admin-hefce electronic mailing list (in lieu of the current monthly update).

5.   Reduction in the number of printed publications continues a policy adopted since 2003 to shift to web-only publishing. From now on, nearly all publications will be released only on our web-site at www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs.

6.   Though these changes may have drawbacks in some cases, they reduce dependence on the postal service and allow speedier communications that are easy to share with colleagues. Surveys conducted by Ipsos MORI on HEFCE communications with universities, colleges and other stakeholders have indicated a highly favourable attitude toward our web-site and electronic communications in general.

7.   In light of the changes we strongly recommend that you verify that you have a nominated contact on admin-hefce who can forward messages from us to appropriate colleagues. There is no upper limit on the number of people in an institution who may join the list.

8.   Below are listed other ways to keep in touch with HEFCE:

  1. Our monthly e-newsletter, update-hefce, lists news, publications, updates to our web-site, events and deadlines.
  2. The monthly e-newsletter for governors, governance-hefce, currently has 500 subscribers and we aim to increase its readership to all HE governors.
  3. Our RSS and Twitter feeds announce HEFCE documents, consultations and news stories at time of publication.

You can subscribe to any of these, and admin-hefce, free of charge, at www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/ecomms.

9.   In the first half of 2011 we will launch our redesigned web-site (the web address will be the same, www.hefce.ac.uk). The new design is being informed by feedback from users and will improve search capability for news and publications.

Yours sincerely

Roger Grinyer
Head of Corporate Communications

Date: 14 December 2010

Ref: Circular letter 28/2010

Enquiries should be directed to:

Shelley Hollingsworth, tel 0117 931 7305, e-mail s.hollingsworth@hefce.ac.uk