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The UK's only independent think tank devoted to higher education.

About HEPI

The Higher Education Policy Institute was established in 2002 to shape the higher education policy debate through evidence. We are UK-wide, independent and non-partisan. We are funded by organisations and universities that wish to see a vibrant higher education debate as well as through our own events.

Our values

  • Independence: We are the only independent think tank devoted to higher education in the UK.
  • Rigour and depth of research: Our reports showcase a depth and rigour of research, utilising a range of methodologies to address the most pressing issues in the sector.
  • Stimulating debate: Our reports and blogs reflect a wide range of viewpoints across levels of seniority and the political spectrum, and our events provide opportunities for topical higher education policy questions to be considered in detail.
  • Flexibility: We aim to respond to policy shifts quickly to help the sector understand change as it happens. 

Our editorial independence is guarded by an Advisory Board and our Trustees, who conduct a peer review process on all our major projects.

HEPI is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. Our charitable objectives, as outlined in HEPI’s Articles of Association, are:

to promote research into and understanding of all aspects of higher education and to disseminate the useful results of such research for the education and benefit of policy makers and the general public in the United Kingdom.

Income and expenditure

We aim to be transparent on our funding, which varies a little from year to year. Broadly speaking, subscriptions from higher education institutions (listed here) and corporate Partners (listed here) provide the bulk of our income (around 80%, split evenly between the two categories). The rest of our income comes from events (10% to 15% of income, depending on year) and co-sponsored projects.

Our spending is generally in the region of half a million pounds a year. As a charity, we cannot make a profit. If there is a surplus, as in some recent years, it is cautiously invested as charitable reserves for future use. If there is a deficit, as in 2019/20, we dip into our reserves. Our expenditure for a typical year is shown in the chart below (although in COVID-affected years, we spent less than shown on some items, such as in-person events and travel).

Our Accounts and Trustees’ Reports are available on the Charity Commission website. Information is also available on HEPI’s finances and governance from Companies House.