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9 March 2009

A new 'University Challenge': developing an HE centre or new university campus

The new 'University Challenge' programme aims to create up to 20 new centres of higher education (HE) by 2014.

Following widespread consultation, HEFCE has developed a two-stage process for submitting proposals for a new HE centre or university campus: the submission of a 'statement of intent' followed by submission of the full business case.

The process is explained in 'A new 'University Challenge': proposals for higher education centres' (HEFCE 2009/07).

Assembling evidence for a new HE centre will involve:

  • using the common evidence base prepared by HEFCE that looks in detail at one aspect of the benefit of new provision - increasing the opportunities to study locally
  • submitting evidence developed locally (the local evidence base).

HEFCE does not expect to be the sole funder of large capital projects. The decisions of other funders to invest in a new HE centre will reflect the economic, planning and social benefits shown in the Government's policy document 'A new 'University Challenge': unlocking Britain's talent', (March 2008).

The consultation, which closed in October 2008, and the related seminars were an important part of the debate that the Government asked HEFCE to lead when it set out the policy framework. We received strong support for the principles and objectives of the proposed centres, and for the proposed approach for HEFCE to assess proposals for new HE centres.

Submission of statements of intent and a subsequent proposal may be made at any time through the lead higher education institution to the appropriate HEFCE institutional team. However, we have set two dates for submission of statements of intent:

  • 30 June 2009
  • 5 December 2009

We expect to have received the greater number of statements of intent by these dates. They also correspond to specific dates for receipt of feedback in early August and January 2010 respectively.