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Excellence Fellowships Awards

The Excellence Fellowship Awards scheme was a 1.9 million initiative introduced in 2002 to support the Government's plans for expanding participation in higher education. The two-year pilot funded by the Department for Education and Skills and administered by HEFCE ran between 2002 and 2004.

The pilot's aim was to provide an opportunity for teachers in schools and further education colleges (FECs) to spend time working and studying in a higher education institution (HEI). During this time they undertook a project with direct relevance to widening participation. Eligibility was restricted to teachers in schools and FECs in Excellence in Cities areas or Education Action Zones, as progression to higher education tends to be lowest in these areas.

29 HEIs were involved in the pilot scheme. Each participating HEI was entitled to spend up to 60,000 on awards over the two academic years (2002-03 and 2003-04).

An independent evaluation of the pilot has since been carried out and is available on the DCSF web-site to download.

This includes details of a number of the projects that were carried out.

As a result of the evaluation and other subsequent developments within widening participation, we have decided not to continue the scheme although we recognise that it had many positive aspects for both the individuals and institutions involved.

Further information

Circular letter 07/02: Excellence Fellowship Awards: guidance for HEIs

Circular letter 04/02: Excellence Fellowship Awards Pilot Scheme

For further information on the scheme please contact Sarah Howls, tel 0117 931 7073, e-mail

Last updated 24 November 2008