The HEFCE Register sits alongside the Operating Framework for higher education which describes the framework of regulation designed to safeguard confidence in the overall system of English higher education.
The HEFCE Register is primarily a regulatory tool. It provides information about how providers of higher education are regulated in England. So it may be of interest to a variety of users including other regulators and Government agencies. It is not intended to provide course-level information to students though it may provide useful contextual information about providers and assurances on whether and how they are regulated. Student-focussed information can be found on Unistats, the National Careers Service site, and the UCAS website.
The HEFCE Register includes providers currently regulated in England which have any of the following features:
- are a university, higher education corporation, or have been designated by statutory instrument for HEFCE funding
- have the power to award degrees
- are directly funded by HEFCE in the current academic year
- deliver courses that have been specifically designated by Government to enable eligible students on these courses to access student support
- are delivering higher education on behalf of a HEFCE-funded provider (known by HEFCE as a sub-contractual arrangement)
Each of these features require providers to meet specific regulatory requirements. Different providers are therefore subject to different levels of regulation depending on their features. The HEFCE Register reflects these differences.
The HEFCE Register can be used to look for a specific provider or to look at groups of providers with particular features. See further details on how to search the Register.
For each provider listed the Register sets out:
- the provider’s legal name and address, and any operating names that the provider may use
- the powers it has and the regulatory standards it is required to meet
- links to further information about the provider, including, for example, links to the provider’s own website and previous quality review visit reports.
For most providers with courses that have been specifically designated for student support, the Register provides detail of each course including its location, mode of study, the name of the relevant awarding body, and whether new students studying on the course can apply for student support (this includes both undergraduate student support, disabled students allowances and postgraduate masters loans).
Some providers receive direct funding from HEFCE or offer higher education programmes on a sub-contractual basis. These providers are not regulated at a course level, so the Register does not show course-level information for them.
The information on the HEFCE Register is regularly updated. It relies on data from a number of different sources which are fed into the Register at different points across the year and require different amounts of processing from HEFCE. We aim to update the Register within 7 days of receiving information from any of these sources.
The HEFCE Register does not list all providers of higher education in England. It only includes providers which meet one or more of the specific features listed above.
For example, it does not include:
- recognised awarding bodies that can only award specific degrees in specific subjects
- publicly funded higher education providers who are not regulated in England but who are regulated by one of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Students at these providers may be eligible under the English student support regulations, but the providers are not assured by English arrangements. Information about providers regulated in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland may be available from other sources such as the UK Government's list of providers who can award degrees, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales or the Department for Employment and Learning.
- providers of higher education which are accredited by independent professional bodies, as these are not part of the government regulatory framework.
If a provider is not on the Register, assurances about its quality and sustainability may be available through other sources. Some providers give voluntary assurances of quality and sustainability to various assurance bodies. The Register does not capture these assurances.
The Register does not include providers of higher education that no longer exist but who may have had particular powers in the past (for example degree awarding powers or University title). Information about historic providers may be available from other sources, for example Higher Education Degree Datacheck.
We are committed to developing the Register, and will work in partnership with users, the sector and other regulators to do so.
We welcome feedback on the Register. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.