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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Accountable officers of alternative providers with degree-awarding powers and those subject to student number controls must upload returns to the HEFCE extranet by noon on Thursday 14 December 2017.

Executive summary


1. This document asks alternative providers of higher education to complete a survey of 2017-18 students on those full-time, distance learning and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate initial teacher training (PG ITT) courses that have been designated for student support purposes.

Key points

2. The survey should be completed by any alternative provider that fulfils one of the following criteria:

  • has degree-awarding powers
  • is subject to a full-time student number control (SNC)
  • is subject to a distance learning and part-time SNC.

3. The data gives an early indication, for purposes including government planning, of the number of students starting designated undergraduate and PG ITT courses in the academic year 2017-18. It will also allow us to monitor whether providers subject to an SNC are likely to exceed their allocations. The Department for Education will use the data to inform SNCs for the 2018-19 academic year.

4. This document provides the following:

  1. In Section 1, an introduction to the Higher Education in Alternative Providers Early Statistics (HEAPES) survey.
  2. In Section 2, the definitions used in the HEAPES survey.
  3. In Section 3, guidance on completing and submitting the HEAPES survey and an explanation of how the survey is finalised.
  4. In the annexes, examples of the survey tables and a list of abbreviations.

Action required

5. Workbooks will be available to providers in November 2017 to download from the HEFCE extranet. Returns must be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by noon on Thursday 14 December 2017.

Date: 29 September 2017

Ref: 2017/19

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Finance

Enquiries should be directed to: