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Application templates should be e-mailed to HEFCE by noon on Monday 28 July 2014.

Executive summary


1. This document provides information and guidance for publicly funded further education and sixth-form colleges seeking to become directly funded by HEFCE from the academic year 2015-16 onwards. Section 1 provides an introduction to direct funding and higher education regulation. Section 2 provides details on the assessment process and how to complete and submit an application for direct funding.

Key points

2. HEFCE will run annual application windows for publicly funded higher education providers wishing to become directly funded by HEFCE, starting with applications in 2014 for funding from 2015-16 onwards. This will allow courses (both part-time and full-time) to be designated for student support by the Student Loans Company, and enable funding for higher education from HEFCE.

3. Colleges should apply in the summer of the calendar year before they expect to enter the sector (for example, in 2014 for entry in 2015-16). HEFCE will process and assess applications over the summer, and announce the outcomes to applications early in the autumn prior to entry. This should allow colleges sufficient time to plan and submit applications, and to recruit students accordingly should their application be successful.

4. This process is open only to institutions within the further education sector, and to schools and colleges maintained or assisted by a local education authority as we are not empowered by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 to fund other types of providers.

5. All applications for entry in 2015-16 will be assessed on the basis of evidence of the quality of their higher education provision. Applicants must demonstrate that their quality of provision is at least satisfactory, and must provide a business case for direct funding as part of the application.

6. Becoming directly funded by HEFCE places a number of mandatory requirements on providers, in terms of regulation and of data submission, which applicants will need to consider in detail.

7. We anticipate that this year’s application process will be concluded in autumn 2014, so that institutions can begin recruitment for the 2015-16 academic year.

Action required

8. Colleges wishing to become directly funded by HEFCE for the 2015-16 academic year should read this document, then complete the application template at Annex B and workbook at Annex C. These should be e-mailed to by noon on Monday 28 July 2014.

Date: 17 June 2014

Ref: HEFCE 2014/11

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Senior management, Student recruitment, Planning, Finance

Enquiries should be directed to:

Toby Brown, tel 0117 931 7340, e-mail