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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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 Higher Education and Research Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. It makes changes to the way that higher education (HE) in England is regulated. These changes will start to come into force on 1 April 2018.

Until that point, the current regulatory requirements remain in place and they are described in this operating framework.

HE is a partnership between a student and the university, college or other HE provider that is delivering their course or programme of study. HE providers are responsible for the quality of their students’ experiences and the smooth running of the organisation. 

Students and the wider public need to be sure that the fees they are paying and public investment in HE is being spent wisely and well.  The operating framework describes the arrangements that are in place to do this.  It is mostly concerned with students taking their first degree, who come from the United Kingdom and the European Union.  It will also help international students by showing how HE in England is accountable and how students' interests are protected.

A glossary of terms is available.


Page last updated 13 July 2017

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