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Update to HEFCE Circular letter 15/2012 on 20 June 2012

We have now extended the category of non-fundable students to certain courses for which an NHS bursary is payable. Paragraph 25c of Annex A and paragraph 2 of Annex B have been updated to reflect this change.

The change applies to new-regime students on courses which are provided under a contract with an NHS organisation and which lead on successful completion to professional registration as a dental hygienist/dental therapist, occupational therapist, operating department practitioner, orthoptist, physiotherapist, radiographer or radiotherapist. This means we no longer require institutions to submit details of courses for students that meet this definition.

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

1. This circular letter provides early notification of changes that we intend to incorporate in the Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES) and Higher Education in Further Education: Students (HEIFES) surveys for the 2012-13 academic year. We do not require a response to this letter, except where proposed changes to the definitions of ‘HEFCE-fundable’ and ‘non-fundable’ affect which of an institution’s students are counted towards the student number control for 2012-13. Where institutions are affected in this way, they should send details by Monday 25 June 2012 to, following the guidance in paragraph 26 of Annex A. Any other questions and comments about this letter should be sent to (for higher education institutions) or (for further education colleges).

2. Changes are necessary to the HESES and HEIFES surveys to reflect:

  1. The changed fee and funding arrangements for higher education that are being introduced from 2012-13.
  2. The data requirements for our proposed teaching funding methods for 2013-14. These are subject to HEFCE Board decisions in the light of our consultation ‘Student number controls and teaching funding: Consultation on arrangements for 2013-14 and beyond’, HEFCE 2012/04.
  3. The data requirements necessary to calculate adjusted teaching funding allocations for 2012-13 to be announced in March 2013.
  4. Changes to the definition of the student number control for 2012-13 and our monitoring arrangements for pre-registration medicine and dentistry courses.
  5. Changes to HESA academic cost centres from 2012-13 (this affects higher education institutions only).

3. Where possible, we have sought to cease collecting information that is no longer required for our funding and monitoring purposes. However, there are a large number of changes that are necessary, some of which relate to the structure of tables and the disaggregation of student numbers within them and others which relate to definitions and guidance. In particular, we are making changes to the definitions of HEFCE-fundable and non-fundable in four areas:

  1. In relation to students, particularly new-regime students, who are funded from another EU public source.
  2. In relation to new-regime students on courses that are franchised to institutions that are neither a higher education institution nor a further education college funded from public funds.
  3. In relation to employer co-funded students.
  4. In relation to students at colleges that we did not fund directly in 2011‑12 who are continuing on courses they started there prior to 2012-13.

4. These definitional changes may mean that some provision that was previously non-fundable becomes fundable. Where the provision is for full-time undergraduates, more students will count towards the student number control for 2012‑13. We will increase student number control limits for 2012-13 to take account of such changes in coverage, where institutions provide satisfactory evidence that they have been affected by these changes.

5. The four annexes to this circular letter give more details:

  1. Annex A provides a non-technical summary of the changes to HESES and HEIFES for 2012-13 and explains the process for institutions seeking changes to their student number control limit for 2012-13 as a result of the change to the definitions of HEFCE-fundable and non-fundable.
  2. Annex B provides some draft amendments to guidance and definitions for the two surveys.
  3. Annex C  provides draft specimen tables for HESES12.
  4. Annex D provides draft specimen tables for HEIFES12.

6. While we believe this circular letter captures all the main changes to the surveys, the final guidance in the HESES12 and HEIFES12 publications this autumn may incorporate further amendments (which is why Annexes B to D are in draft form). We have issued the guidance as early as possible to allow institutions to prepare their data collection arrangements and resolve any issues for student number controls in time for the funding agreements that we will issue in July, but this has meant we have had to make some assumptions relating to proposals in the consultation on our teaching funding method from 2013-14. For the purposes of this circular letter only, and without prejudice, we have assumed those proposals will be implemented: this affects in particular the guidance on the assignment of activity to price groups and the need to separately identify postgraduate students who have access to the undergraduate student support regime. Decisions on these issues will be taken by our Board in July and we will amend our guidance as necessary if there are changes to our proposals following consultation, which require revised data collection arrangements.

7. Questions or comments about this letter should be sent to (for higher education institutions) or (for further education colleges).

Yours sincerely


Sir Alan Langlands

Chief Executive


Annex A 

Paragraph 25c was updated on 20 June 2012.

Download the Annex A as MS Word (66 KB)

All technical appendices

Download the Download all as zip (339 KB)

Annex B (showing changes to the guidance in HESES11 and HEIFES11)

Paragraph 2 (Annex K paragraph 9e) was updated on 20 June 2012.

Download the Annex B (changes tracked) as MS Word (195 KB)

Annex B (changes not highlighted)

Paragraph 2 (Annex K paragraph 9e) was updated on 20 June 2012.

Download the Annex B (changes not tracked) as PDF (176 KB)

Annex C

Download the Annex C as MS Excel Spreadsheet (219 KB)

Annex D

Download the Annex D as MS Excel Spreadsheet (201 KB)

This file was updated on 10 July 2012 to correct the census date: it is November and not December. This affects Columns 1 and 2 of Tables 1 to 4, Column 1 in Table 5 and Columns 1 to 3 in Table 6.

Annex A 

Paragraph 25c was updated on 20 June 2012.

Download the Annex A as MS Word (66 KB)

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Date: 7 June 2012

Ref: Circular letter 15/2012

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

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Planning, Finance

Enquiries should be directed to:

e-mail (for higher education institutions); (for further education colleges)