The Office for Fair Access closed at the end of 31 March 2018 and responsibility for higher education access regulation transferred to the Office for Students

OFFA welcomes appointment of Chris Millward as Director for Fair Access and Participation at new Office for Students

The Office for Fair Access today welcomed the appointment of Chris Millward as Director for Fair Access and Participation at the new Office for Students [note 1].

The Office for Fair Access has regulated fair access to higher education in England since 2004 and this responsibility will be taken over by the Office for Students from April 2018. As Director for Fair Access and Participation, Chris Millward will take forward the regulatory duties and powers that currently reside with OFFA’s Director of Fair Access, Professor Les Ebdon.

Professor Ebdon commented:

“I am delighted with Chris’s appointment. I have worked with him for many years and greatly respect him, so I know the future of fair access and participation regulation is in very capable hands.

“Chris has a challenging job to do. Good progress has been made in fair access and widening participation, but there is still a long way to go before the higher education system offers real equality of opportunity. A real step change in progress is needed and the Office for Students offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make that change happen.

“So Chris will need to be ambitious in pushing forward the access and participation agenda. He will need to challenge higher education providers robustly, to ensure they all continue to work towards improving access and participation, and that they follow through on promises once made. And I know he will work to permeate access and participation throughout all of the Office for Students’ work so that it can be a true driver of social mobility.

“I look forward to working closely with Chris in the coming months. I want to ensure he benefits from the wealth of OFFA’s experience, so that he can build on the approaches that we have found successful and use the greater resources of the Office for Students to drive the further, faster progress that is needed.”


For further information contact Sophie Mason (Communications Manager) at OFFA on 0117 931 7171 or email 


  1. The Office for Students (OFS) is a new public body that will combine the existing regulatory functions of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) with many of the current functions of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The OFS will take up these duties from April 2018, at which time OFFA and HEFCE will cease to operate.