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Higher Education Academy Joint Information Systems Committee HEFCE

March 2005/12
Policy development
Statement of policy

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HEFCE strategy for e-learning

This document sets out our strategy and implementation plan for supporting higher education institutions to develop and embed e-learning over the next 10 years. It reflects responses to the consultation on our draft strategy, and has been developed jointly with the Higher Education Academy and the Joint Information Systems Committee.

View HEFCE's revised strategy for e-learning (HEFCE 2009/12).

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges
Of interest to those responsible for: Teaching and learning; Information and communications technologies
Reference: 2005/12
Publication date: March 2005
Enquiries to: Liz Franco
tel 0117 931 7335

Foreword and executive summary (read on-line)


HEFCE strategy for e-learning
[ MS Word 190K | Zipped Word 38K | Adobe PDF 149K | Zipped PDF 109K ]


'People use the internet and new technologies every day - for finding information, communicating, and seeking entertainment, goods and services. Learners are bringing new expectations of the power of technology into higher education. And the curiosity and innovation of those in higher education is driving them to explore new approaches to learning supported by technologies. It is the excitement and interest of learners, teachers and the sector in general that drives our e-learning strategy. Our goal is to help the sector use new technology as effectively as they can, so that it becomes a 'normal' or embedded part of their activities. That does not mean telling universities and colleges what their aims for e-learning should be, nor how they should go about reaching them. But it is about describing overall aspirations for how e-learning can transform learning and teaching, and about supporting institutions in setting their own visions and plans.

'We recognise that we cannot deliver and develop our strategy alone. We will work closely with our implementation partners, the Higher Education Academy and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). We will seek to learn from and get the best out of joined-up approaches to the exploration of e-learning, working with the DfES e-learning strategy. Above all, we will put institutions, their teachers and learners, at the heart of our strategy, and ensure we review and develop it over its 10-year horizons, taking account of the real impact we have made on teaching and learning.'

Liz Beaty
Director, Learning and Teaching, HEFCE

'Many universities and colleges we work with have highlighted the need to understand more about effective ways of using information and communications technology to enhance the student learning experience. This national strategy will provide a broad framework for bodies such as the Higher Education Academy and JISC to dovetail our efforts, to ensure that institutions carry forward strategies based on evidence of what works, advice and guidance from around the sector and beyond.'

Cliff Allan
Director of Programmes, Higher Education Academy

'UK education and research has benefited enormously from its investment in ICT over many years and remains at the forefront of the innovative use of technology. HEFCE's e-Learning strategy, which emphasises many things central to JISC's own activities - such as the provision of personalised user experiences, supporting student progression, and supporting institutions in the innovative use of ICT - will ensure that UK education and research continues to benefit from this investment. JISC looks forward to playing its part in supporting this strategy.'

Malcolm Read
JISC Executive Secretary

Executive summary


1.    This document sets out HEFCE's strategy and implementation plan for supporting e learning in higher education institutions.

Key points

2.    We are committed to working with partners to fully embed e-learning in a sustainable way within the next 10 years.

3.    This strategy reflects responses to our consultation (Circular Letter 21/2003), which was conducted in parallel with the DfES consultation on e-learning for all levels of education. It sets out the aims, objectives and principles we will adopt, and a detailed implementation plan that has been developed jointly with the Higher Education Academy and the Joint Information Systems Committee.

Action required

4.    This document is for information.