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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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The agreement provides reassurances to students and the public more widely. In doing this, regulatory practice continues to support the dual principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

Aims of the agreement

The purpose of the agreement is to:

  • make a more explicit link between current institutional accountability requirements and automatic designation for student support for institutions receiving HEFCE funding
  • set out a process for addressing non-compliance with accountability measures, drawing on HEFCE’s current process for institutional support.

What's the status of the agreement?

This is a voluntary agreement that sits alongside the memorandum of assurance and accountability between HEFCE and institutions, which sets the terms and conditions for payment of  HEFCE grants to higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education colleges (FECs).

This agreement aligns with the requirements in the memorandum of assurance and accountability, and so adds no additional burden on institutions.

This agreement came into effect on 1 August 2014 for three years. We expect HEIs and FECs with automatic designation of their courses to adhere to the terms of this agreement.

Where HEFCE judges there is a breach of the terms of this agreement by an HEI it will apply its institutional support strategy, along the lines currently used under the  memorandum of assurance and accountability. In the case of an FEC, HEFCE will work with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to ensure any issues are resolved.

More about the agreement

Page last updated 22 February 2015