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Message from Alan Langlands, Chief Executive (January 2013)

08 January 2013

The Olympics and Paralympics were a memorable highlight in 2012 for many of us, and higher education played a significant part in their success. Universities played host to Olympic and Paralympic teams from across the world, and our greatest athletes often started their professional careers thanks to the facilities and coaching their places of study were able to offer them.

It was a very busy year for HEFCE and for higher education. The Government’s fee changes came into effect for 2012-13, and HEFCE has been overseeing the transition from the old to the new regime. This is a demanding process, and I am grateful to everyone involved – in HEFCE, and in universities and colleges – for their hard work in making it happen with minimum disruption to students.

JISC, the body which champions the use of digital technologies in UK higher and further education institutions, was registered as an independent charity in December, following a review by HEFCE, and has changed its name to Jisc. Jisc will continue to receive funding from HEFCE and other UK higher education funding bodies. This is a key step in its transition to meet the needs of the many communities it serves for 2013 and beyond.

In December the Higher Education Academy published practical guidance for those working in higher education outreach and widening participation. The guidance, published as four ‘toolkits’, was commissioned by HEFCE.

More challenges await us all in 2013, including the possibility of new pressures on student recruitment, and the task of understanding and responding to the impact of the higher education reforms on part-time and postgraduate study. HEFCE will continue to play its part in ensuring that higher education in England builds on its current strengths, continues to make a hugely important contribution to economic growth, and remains accessible and fulfilling for students. 

Page last updated 15 January 2013

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