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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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 - www.hefce.ac.uk - 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 strategy has now been published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

About the strategy

The strategy was developed following a request from ministers. Its main aim is to ensure that those with the ability to benefit from higher education have equal opportunity to participate and succeed regardless of background, age, ethnicity, disability or gender. 

The strategy explores the student life-cycle from access to higher education, through retention and student success and into progression to further study or into, or within, employment.

Overall, the strategy promotes greater strategic alignment and cohesion. Our ambition is to create an environment in which work to improve access, student success and progression can flourish.  

The strategy sets out to achieve this  by making the most of investment in widening participation, access and student success by universities, colleges, the Government, HEFCE and other organisations. 

How has the strategy been developed?

We consulted with the higher education sector and analysed evidence of what works best to widen access and ensure student success and successful progression, both in the UK and abroad. 

Our conclusions, and recommendations on where the sector should focus its efforts, were presented to BIS ministers in October 2013. 

Page last updated 12 February 2015