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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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If you apply for university or university college title on or before 31 March 2019, the Office for Students (OfS) will process your application as outlined in the ‘University title and university college title’ September 2015 guidance and as set out on these pages. OfS will take on HEFCE’s role.

See more about how new applicants can apply for university or university college title beyond 1 April 2019

About university title

Some organisations have the right to use the title ‘University’ or ‘University College’ in their name, although they may not always do so.

These terms are protected terms in law, and the Privy Council is responsible for granting university and university college title.

Higher education providers wishing to apply for approval to use the title ‘university’ or ‘university college’ must have been granted powers to award taught degrees. They must also be able to show that they meet the principles of good governance relevant to its sector.

Where the provider is applying for university title only they also must normally have at least 1,000 full time equivalent higher education students. At least 750 of these students should be registered on degree courses (including foundation degree programmes). The number of full time equivalent higher education students must exceed 55 per cent of the total number of full time equivalent students.

Page last updated 2 November 2017