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New ways of thinking about and delivering higher education (HE) provision create a more diverse and accessible sector.

We act as a facilitator of change through making funding available, especially in the pilot stage of developments to test proof of concept. We work closely with a range of organisations to encourage a number of schemes and initiatives that contribute to greater innovation in provision.

A number of these schemes and initiatives are briefly described below.

Schemes and initiatives

  • Flexible learning and the flexible learning pathfinders
    Flexible learning allows students greater choice of where they study (at home, on campus or in the workplace), and how long they take to complete their study, which may be either more quickly or more slowly than the traditional pattern. We have funded some pilots (pathfinders) to explore the success of different modes of study.
  • Credit usage in higher education
    Credit is a way of giving a numerical value to a portion of learning. This can make it easier to accumulate learning from different places, and to join that learning up into a full programme of study. Credit accumulation has to take into account what is learnt and at what level.
  • The Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
    The HEAR is currently being piloted by a number of institutions, it is a new way of recording student achievement. We are funding the pilot phase.
  • Activities to widen participation
    We fund and support a number of developments designed to widen participation in English HE
  • Employer engagement
    Through a series of initiatives we support programmes that link closely to the world of work. Many include work-based learning, and are part-funded by employers.
  • Learning technology
    Learning technology has the capacity to transform how we learn and teach. We are active in developing learning technology policy, and in funding new initiatives.
  • The Higher Education Academy (HEA)
    We are a significant funder of the HEA, which plays an important part in supporting and promoting innovative approaches to learning and teaching, including through its subject centres which offer small grants for educational development activity.

Further information

Also see our work in the area of enhancement

Last updated 9 October 2009