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Publicly funded further education colleges and sixth-form colleges not currently funded directly by HEFCE should return applications by noon on Wednesday 12 August 2015.

Executive summary

Purpose

1. This document provides information and guidance for English publicly funded colleges seeking to become directly funded by HEFCE from the academic year 2016-17 onwards. Section 1 provides an overview of our current funding to colleges. Section 2 details our regulatory requirements for HEFCE-funded colleges. Section 3 details the assessment process and how to complete and submit an application for direct funding.

Key points

2. This is an annual process for English publicly funded colleges wishing to become directly funded by HEFCE to support their higher education courses. A college being HEFCE-funded also enables its eligible students to access tuition fee loans and support from the Student Loans Company.

3. This process is open only to English publicly funded colleges and English providers maintained or assisted by a local education authority. It is not open to any other provider of higher education.

4. Applications will be assessed on four criteria: quality of provision, financial sustainability management and governance, strategic imperative, and course eligibility.

5. Becoming directly funded by HEFCE places a number of mandatory requirements on providers in terms of regulation and of data submission, which colleges will need to consider in detail before judging whether to submit an application.

6. Applications are likely to take up to 12 weeks to assess. Therefore, we anticipate that we will notify colleges of their outcome in the autumn. Colleges whose applications are unsuccessful will have the opportunity to appeal and we expect to conclude any appeals process by the end of the calendar year.

Action required

7. This process only affects colleges not currently in a direct funding relationship with HEFCE. Colleges wishing to become directly funded by HEFCE for the 2016-17 academic year should read this document and the accompanying technical guidance at Annex B, then complete the application form and forecast workbook provided when registering for their group key to the HEFCE extranet. The completed form and workbook and supporting evidence should be uploaded to HEFCE via our extranet facility by noon on Wednesday 12 August 2015.

Date: 29 June 2015

Ref: HEFCE 2015/12

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Senior management, Student recruitment, Planning, Finance

Enquiries should be directed to:

HEFCE higher education in further education team, led by Adam Lambert, tel 0117 931 7315, email a.lambert@hefce.ac.uk