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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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HEFCE-funded higher education institutions should make their nominations by Monday 15 January 2018

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Nominations for invitees to Royal Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace

1. This letter invites you to nominate an individual from your institution to be considered for an invitation to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 15 May, Thursday 31 May or Tuesday 5 June 2018. The deadline for nominations is Monday 15 January 2018.

2. This is an opportunity to recognise the contribution of the wide variety of people working in higher education, and your nomination can be drawn from all levels and roles across the institution.

3. This is the only opportunity for higher education institutions to make nominations for their staff and due to the limited number of places available, each institution may only put forward one nominee. The nominee should not have previously attended a Royal Garden Party.

4. The nominee must be a British or European Union citizen resident in the UK, and must be available to attend at least one of the dates given above. Your nominee should be accompanied by an adult guest (over 18 years of age), who may be a spouse, partner, relation or friend. Accompanying guests may be of another nationality, but they must also reside in the UK.

5. You should check with your nominee in advance to ascertain whether they would wish to be considered for attendance, and whether they are available to attend on the specified dates.

6. Details of your nominee and guest should be provided on the spreadsheet at Annex A, which can be downloaded below. This covers full names, home addresses including postcode, and whether the nominee or the guest require disabled access to the Palace gardens, and the dates they are available to attend. For the main nominee only, you should supply a contact phone number and email address so that the Department for Education Honours Secretariat can make direct contact in case of queries regarding the details submitted, and so that they can be informed via email in March 2018 of the date they and their party have been allocated.

7. Please ensure that the names and addresses provided at this stage are as shown on the photographic identification (such as a passport or driving licence) and proof of home address in order to gain access to the Palace. No alterations, substitutions or other changes can be made to the nomination once the spreadsheet has been submitted to the Palace.

8. Please email your nomination as soon as you can, but by Monday 15 January 2018 at the latest.

9. Any questions or queries about this process should be directed to Yvonne Clarke at the contact details given above.

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive


The following guidelines apply to Non-State Royal Garden Parties:

I. Nominees should not have previously attended a Royal Garden Party.

II. No one under the age of 18 on the date of the Garden Party should be nominated.

III. Nominees may be accompanied by a spouse, partner, relation or friend, also by any daughters and sons between the ages of 18 and 25 inclusive whose main residence is with the nominee, but with a maximum of two per family. It is important that the age limits are strictly upheld.

IV. Ensure that all nominated guests are accompanied. It is extremely unusual for nominees to attend alone, and is not to be encouraged. Those who require assistance (e.g. older people or disabled people) must be accompanied. Should any guest insist on attending unaccompanied then please make certain this option is selected on the form.

V. The number of nominees and guests must stay within the quota allocated to you.

VI. Please provide for the nominee and accompanying guest(s) their full name, home address, contact telephone number for the nominee (not required for guests), an email address for the nominee (so they can be informed of the date allocated to them and their guest(s)), together with all dates they are available to attend. 

VII. Names and addresses must reflect each guests’ form of identification that they will be asked to bring with them (e.g. passport, driving licence) to allow them to gain access to the event. 

VIII. Please indicate if anyone has a disability. 

IX. All nominated guests must be British or European Union citizens, although their guests may be of other nationalities. All guests, nominated or accompanying, must be resident in the United Kingdom. 

X. Inaccurately completed forms will be returned to the sponsoring Group for checking and correction.

XI. No alterations, substitutions or any other changes can be made to the nominations once the spreadsheet has been submitted to the Palace.

XII. NB: No one should be promised an invitation.

Date: 19 December 2017

Ref: Circular letter 41/2017

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Enquiries should be directed to:

Yvonne Clarke, tel 07391 018283, email