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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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For students

This page provides information about the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) for students who are NSP recipients.

What is the National Scholarship Programme?

The National Scholarship Programme was a government initiative which applied to new students entering an undergraduate course in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. The scheme has now ended and is not available for students entering higher education in 2015-16 and beyond.

The NSP provided financial help to students entering higher education for the first time who were studying in England. 

The programme was designed to help students whose family income was £25,000 or less. However, having this level of income did not guarantee an award. 

What support does the programme provide to NSP recipients?

For 2012-13 and 2013-14 entrants, the minimum amount that full-time students received was £3,000, and this was paid in their first year. For 2014-15 entrants, the minimum amount changed to £2,000, and this was also paid in the first year of study. 

Students who received their first NSP payment in 2012-13 and 2013-14, may have received help with one or a combination of the following; tuition fees, subsidised accommodation, a cash bursary of up to £1,000 or other help. Students that entered higher education in 2014-15, could receive the same help but there was no limit on the amount of the allocated award that universities and colleges could choose to pay as a cash bursary. 

The amount part-time students received depended on how much study their course involved. If, for example, they studied half the amount of time of a full-time student they would have received half the award (that is, a minimum award of £1,500 for 2012-13 or 2013-14 entrants, or £1,000 for 2014-15 entrants). 

For 2012-13 and 2013-14 entrants, part-time students could only receive the award in the form of help with tuition fees. For 2014-15 entrants, part-time students could also receive a cash bursary, subsidised accommodation or other help as part of the award. 

EU nationals could only receive the award in the form of help with tuition fees but were entitled to the full value of the award (£3,000 for 2012-13 and 2013-14 entrants and £2,000 for 2014-15 entrants).

Some universities and colleges chose to pay more than the minimum award in the first year, or committed to making additional payments in later years of a course. This decision was specific to each institution. 

Universities and colleges should have provided clear information about what students would get and when, if in receipt of one of their NSP awards.

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.

For other queries, please see the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for students which provides additional information. 

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