Skip to main content | section navigation
You are in :
25 April 2008 Paul Hamlyn Foundation logoHEFCE logo
To  Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Telephone 0117 931 7317
Facsimile 0117 931 7203

Circular letter number 08/2008

For further information contact Chris Scrase, 0117 931 7153

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

New grant programme to evaluate institutional practice relating to student retention

1.   I am writing to inform higher education institutions (HEIs) of a new grant programme on student retention, funded by HEFCE and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Institutions are invited to submit proposals that evaluate the impact and transferability of institutional practice in relation to student retention, with an emphasis on collaborative approaches where appropriate. The deadline for stage one applications is 30 May 2008.

2.   A total of 1 million over three years is available from September 2008 to fund projects to identify, evaluate and disseminate institutional good practice relating to student retention, reflecting the specific recommendations and priorities identified in the recent reports from the National Audit Office1 and the Public Accounts Committee2. All applications will be assessed against criteria that include clear outcomes and impact, value for money, sustainability of outcomes, and effective dissemination.

3.   There is a two-stage application process. The funding template for stage one applications is on the HEFCE website alongside this document under 2008 publications (Annex C). Applicants should complete this form and return it to Chris Scrase, Successful applicants will then be asked to provide additional information in a stage two application which will be assessed by an advisory panel.

4.   Further details on how to apply are at Annexes A and B.

Yours sincerely

John Selby
Director, Education and Participation

Denise Barrows
Programme Manager, Education & Learning
Paul Hamlyn Foundation


1.   National Audit Office (2007), 'Staying the course: the retention of students in higher education'

2.   House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (2008), 'Staying the course: the retention of students on higher education courses - tenth report of session 2007-08'


Annex A

[ MS Word 76K | Zipped Word 13K | Adobe PDF 32K | Zipped PDF 23K ]

Annex B

[ MS Word 70K | Zipped Word 10K | Adobe PDF 30K | Zipped PDF 23K ]

Annex C

[ MS Word 98K | Zipped Word 143K ]