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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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 have any questions please contact us on 0117 931 7212 / 7308 or

How to apply

Applications for use of the word 'university centre' in England should be sent to the Department of Education (DfE). Please contact HEFCE's Gateways Team for information on how to do this:

To apply, organisations should submit to DfE:

1. the full name being proposed

2. information on the nature and objective of the organisation proposing the name

3. written evidence that the organisation has a clear connection to one or more universities recognised by DfE in terms of UK degree provision.

Once DfE has received this information they will check to make sure that:

1. there are higher education programmes being delivered at the organisation

2. the validating university is happy with the name

3. the name chosen would not be confusing.

What to do after applying

If DfE approves the request then they will send a letter or email of non-objection. This letter must be sent to Companies House.

Companies House then decides whether to approve the proposed name, on behalf of the Secretary of State. Non-objection by DfE does not automatically lead to approval by Companies House.

DfE is currently updating guidance on this process and full details will be published when available.

Use of ‘university centre’ title

The word ‘university’ is specified as a sensitive word under company law and its use is protected.

Page last updated 2 November 2017