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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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 programme aimed to help individual students from low-income backgrounds as they entered higher education. 

We administered the programme on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which set the overall policy and funding level. The Government's contribution to the programme was £50 million in financial year 2012-13, £100 million in 2013-14 and £50 million in 2014-15.

Closure of the programme

Following the spending review in June 2013, the Government announced that the National Scholarship Programme would cease as an undergraduate programme from 2015-16 and instead funding would be repurposed to support postgraduate students. No Government funding for undergraduates will be allocated through the NSP beyond the 2014-15 academic year.

Postgraduate funding

In the Autumn Statement 2014, the Government made clear its intention to invest £50 million to support progression to postgraduate education for students currently under-represented at that level. The Government had previously stated that it would study the success of the Postgraduate Support Scheme 2014-15 to inform ways in which that £50 million could be invested in support of postgraduate education.

In December 2014, HEFCE published guidance and initial allocations to institutions for the Postgraduate Support Scheme 2015-16, which will allocate the £50 million as £10,000 awards for 10,000 students to undertake masters’ degrees in any subject.

For future postgraduate financial support, the government has announced its intention to implement a postgraduate loan scheme from 2016-17 and made clear that intention with a consultation which closed in May 2015. We expect the consultation outcomes and government intentions following the consultation to be announced in autumn 2015.

How to contact us

If you are an NSP recipient and have a query about your individual NSP award, please contact your university or college directly.

To contact HEFCE about general student support enquiries, please email or call 0117 0117 931 7317. Please note however, that HEFCE does not provide financial support to individual students.  

Page last updated 16 May 2017