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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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Lessons learned: mission and purpose

  • At the outset of the sponsorship, all partners should be in agreement on the vision and strategy. It is important that everyone is clear on what, collectively, they are striving to achieve. 
  • There may be times when the sponsored school(s), and potentially the sponsorship arrangements, will come in for criticism. Being resilient to this and maintaining a focus on the core objectives of the sponsorship and the sponsored school(s) is important.

Top tips: ambition

  • Aim high and be passionate. It is difficult to generate the enthusiasm and motivation that you need among your key partners if the project or mission doesn’t inspire.
  • Be courageous with the curriculum. The set-up of a free school provides the opportunity to do something different. Take advantage of this.
  • Be sure you are entering into the sponsorship for the right reasons. It isn’t a quick or easy way to increase student numbers at a university.

Case studies

The University of Brighton and University of Wolverhampton are useful case study examples in illustrating their mission and purpose, and ambition for their sponsorship arrangement.

To find out more see the full case studies below.

Page last updated 7 October 2016

Explore supporting case studies: