Guidance and useful information
Latest access agreement guidance
If you need an access agreement for 2017-18, you must submit it to OFFA by noon on Wednesday 27 April 2016.
Our guidance explains what you need to do next:
- Our strategic access agreement guidance explains our key priorities for this year’s access agreements, and sets out what’s new. All institutions wanting an access
agreement for 2017-18 will need to read this guidance.
- We have also produced step-by-step guide to producing an access agreement. This is designed to support those who are new to writing access agreements, or as a reference for those wishing to find further information on particular areas of their access agreement.
- You will need to submit your return via HEFCE’s extranet. This technical guidance explains how to access the extranet and then complete and upload your access agreement.
Latest monitoring guidance
Our latest monitoring guidance – which is produced jointly with the Higher Education Funding Council for England – sets out the information we need from institutions for the monitoring of access agreements, student opportunity allocation and end-of-year monitoring of the National Scholarship Programme for 2014-15.
The guidance is available here: How to complete your 2014-15 monitoring return (OFFA publication 2015/07, HEFCE publication 2015/31).
You may also wish to download a sample template for 2014-15 monitoring as a PDF document.
The deadline for submitting monitoring returns was Wednesday 20 January 2016. We will publish our outcomes report in the Spring.
In order to better support universities and colleges to make further and faster progress, we have launched a series of ‘topic briefings’. Each briefing in the series focuses on a different topic, bringing together evidence, good practice and resources to help universities and colleges develop smarter, more evidence-led policy and practice. The briefings give an overview of what we’re seeing in access agreements, provide examples of innovative and effective practice, and pose questions for universities and colleges to consider how best to make progress in their own context and circumstances. We add new briefings at regular intervals.
For general guidance and information to help you keep your access agreement up to date and in line with best practice, and answers to questions we are commonly asked by university and college practitioners, please click on the relevant topic in the list below.
You can also look at the archive of previous annual guidance and the archive of guidance notes we have issued on specific topics. However, please be aware that the guidance in these archives may have been superseded by later guidance.
If your query is not answered anywhere on these pages please contact us.
- Accelerated provision (two-year degrees)
- Care leavers/looked after children
- Contextual information
- Continuing students
- Deferred entry
- Equality and diversity in access agreements
- Evaluating your access activities and expenditure
- Fee and bursary limits (including exceptions) and state support thresholds
- Financial predictions: how to make them
- Financial support
- Flexible provision
- Franchise/validation changes
- Freedom of Information requests: guidance for institutions
- Increasing financial support/fee discounts during the application cycle
- Information for students: providing it
- In-kind support
- Medical schools – information and guidance on improving access and support for medical students
- Minimum bursary
- Mistakes in your access agreement: how to correct them
- National Scholarship Programme
- NHS-funded courses
- Old-system students
- Outreach work
- Part-time students
- Paying financial support
- Private institutions
- Publishing your access agreement
- Revising or changing your access agreement
- Revising or changing fees/discounts/financial support during the application cycle
- Retention and student success
- Social work students
- Students domiciled outside England
- Students on social security benefits
- Students who defer entry
- Students who owe debt to the institution
- Targeting outreach work
- Teacher training
- Whole institution approach
- Writing your access agreement
If your query is not answered on these pages please contact us.