'Opportunity, choice and excellence' sets out the principles, priorities and practices that will guide HEFCE as we work with Government, universities, colleges and other partners to implement the higher education reforms. We hope that this strategy statement will provide a starting point for an open, constructive discussion with everyone who has an interest in the success of higher education. Download strategy statement.
This statement sets out HEFCE's high-level approach to tackling the challenges and opportunities of higher education reform (represented in the illustration opposite).
We will continue to support core strengths in higher education: building on a reputation for excellence and diversity in learning and teaching, world-leading research and an enviable record of knowledge exchange.
We have identified a number of key principles – opportunity, choice, and excellence – which will drive change in higher education and guide our future work. And we will regulate to safeguard the collective interests of students while respecting the autonomy of higher education institutions.
Future investment of HEFCE funding will be targeted on public benefit, and information collected in a streamlined way will be used to promote student choice and provide a reliable, robust evidence base for our decisions. We will ensure that funding follows the decisions of learners and that successful institutions are able to thrive.
As the 'lead regulator' HEFCE will play a key role in supporting universities and colleges and securing public benefit across all of these activities.
We will also continue to work in close partnership with Government, universities and colleges, and the key national agencies to promote high-quality teaching and research.
Universities and colleges in England are successful and internationally competitive by many measures. However, the UK faces fierce competition from the fast-developing economies to the East and other established economies in the West that are investing in their higher education. The importance of putting higher learning, research, science and innovation at the core of the country’s strategy for economic growth is clear and universities and colleges are ready to build on the progress already being made. In return, the Government will need to revisit the question of public investment in higher education in the next spending review to ensure that we maintain a competitive edge. In the meantime, we have a clear responsibility to ensure that the very considerable public investment that is being made in our universities and colleges is used to best effect – maintaining a strong focus on quality, efficiency and responsiveness.