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Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Matched funding
  • Allocation of the Government’s contribution
  • Accounting for NSP allocated and match funds
  • Eligibility
  • Information for potential NSP applicants
  • Application process
  • Delivering the scholarship award and unspent funds
  • Monitoring arrangements for 2012-13 and programme evaluation
  • Summary timetable
  • Annex A National Scholarship Programme: provisional allocations for 2013-14
  • Annex B HESA-derived statistics that inform the 2013-14 National Scholarship Programme allocation
  • Annex C ILR-derived statistics that inform the 2013-14 National Scholarship Programme allocation
  • Annex D Sample template for participation in the National Scholarship Programme for institutions intending to charge £6,000 or less for their full-time fees and £4,500 or less for their part-time fees for 2013-14
  • Annex E Sample template for in year monitoring of the NSP for 2013-15 entrants
  • Annex F Technical details of the algorithms applied to HESA data
  • Annex G Technical details of the algorithms applied to ILR data
  • List of abbreviations

Executive summary

Purpose

1. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) sets the overall policy and funding level for the National Scholarship Programme (NSP). HEFCE administers the fund on its behalf.

2. This document provides provisional NSP allocations for academic year 2013-14 and guidance to institutions. Building on guidance issued in 2011 for the first year of the programme (HEFCE 2011/10), it details the funding arrangements and confirmation of the national eligibility criteria for students. In addition, guidance is provided to institutions on provision of information to potential NSP recipients; this is based on the initial findings, soon to be published, of the review of the set-up of the programme for its first year of operation in 2012-13. This document also broadly explains how HEFCE intends to monitor the delivery of the NSP within institutions in 2012-13, and specifies the data institutions should seek to collect in order to meet our monitoring requirements.

Key points

3. The primary purpose of the NSP is to benefit individual students that come from disadvantaged backgrounds as they enter higher education.

4. The Government’s contribution to the programme will be £100 million in 2013-14 and £150 million in 2014-15. Provisional allocations can be found in Annex A, and the method for calculating them is at Annex B for higher education institutions and Annex C for further education colleges. Final allocations will be published in February 2013. Institutions will receive their full 2013-14 allocation in one payment in August 2013.

5. Each awarded full-time student will receive a benefit of not less than £3,000, with a pro rata amount delivered to part-time students studying a minimum of 25 per cent intensity of the full-time equivalent. Institutions will be expected to match the Government’s contribution, as follows:

  1. Institutions intending to charge above £6,000 per year for any of their full-time fees or above £4,500 for their part-time fees will be expected to match the Government’s contribution in a ratio of at least 1:1.
  2. Institutions intending to charge £6,000 or less for their full-time fees and £4,500 or less for their part-time fees will be expected to contribute at least 50 per cent.

6. Institutions submitting access agreements to the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) will need to provide NSP programme information in those agreements. This should include early estimates of the number of students expected to receive an award, types of award made, and the level of matched funding contribution that the institution will make. Institutions that do not submit an access agreement to OFFA will be required to submit the same NSP programme information to HEFCE by completing a template that can be accessed via the HEFCE extranet; Annex D shows a sample of that template.

7. Institutions will be required to submit two monitoring returns in respect of the 2012-13 NSP allocation through the OFFA/HEFCE access agreement/WPSA monitoring returns for both 2011-12 and 2012-13.

8. In-year monitoring will need to be submitted by institutions in January 2013, and will need to provide an aggregate number of awards delivered in the first term of the academic year and an estimate of the number still to be delivered. This early monitoring return is required by BIS, to enable it to report on the progress of the programme to the Secretary of State and other Ministers.

9. A final monitoring return is to be submitted in January 2014 when the final figures for 2012-13 will be known. In this return we will require information at the individualised level that cannot be collected from other data sources.

10. Institutions will also be expected to flag NSP recipients on their data returns to HESA for higher education institutions or the Data Service for further education colleges.

11. The NSP has been is subject to continuous evaluation, which began in October 2011. HEFCE is committed to improving how we administer the programme as the evaluation proceeds, subject to guidance from the Government.

Action required

12. Institutions that submit access agreements to OFFA: must include information regarding delivery of the NSP and their matched funding contribution in those agreements.

13. Institutions not submitting an access agreement to OFFA: Institutions intending to charge £6,000 or less for their full-time fees and £4,500 for their part-time fees – and therefore not submitting an access agreement to OFFA – must complete and upload a template from the HEFCE extranet by Thursday 31 May 2012. Institutions will be able to upload this data from 1 May 2012. We encourage institutions to upload their data as early as possible during this period so that any issues of data quality can be resolved before the deadline. Details on how to access the template will be sent to heads of institutions, WPSA and access agreement contacts during the week commencing 23 April 2012.

Opting out

14. Participation in the NSP is compulsory for institutions intending to charge above £6,000 for any of their full-time undergraduate fees, and/or above £4,500 for any of their part-time undergraduate fees from 2013-14.

15. Institutions intending to charge £6,000 or less for their full-time fees and £4,500 or less for their part-time fees may opt out of the NSP. If an institution wishes to opt out it must inform us of this decision in the template provided on the extranet. If we do not receive the template confirming plans for the NSP or notification of opt-out by the deadline, we will assume that the institution is not participating in the programme and we will remove its NSP allocation.

Date: 19 April 2012

Ref: HEFCE 2012/09

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Senior management, Admissions, Access agreements, Widening Participation, Finance

Enquiries should be directed to:

Rachael Tooth, tel 0117 931 7410, e-mail nsp@hefce.ac.uk