Hepi succeeded in nearly quadrupling membership to its University Partnership Programme, following a recruitment drive by its trustees.
The boost means that 75 institutions are now affiliated to the programme, drawn equally from mission groups and including non-aligned institutions and not-for-profit organisation such as the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the Quality Assurance Agency, and the British Library.
Hepi has published a number of reports on the government’s new policies for the sector, most recently raising concerns over the costs of the new student loans system.
Bahram Bekhradnia, Hepi director, said: “It is highly gratifying that half of all [Higher Education Funding Council for England] funded institutions as well as a sizeable number from other parts of the UK have chosen to support Hepi in this way.”
He added that the success “seemed to be quite remarkable, and perhaps a measure of the heightened degree of concern about the future that exists”.
Hepi provides free to access policy analysis and advice. It is funded in part through the University Partnership Programme, which was established in 2009 and for which members each pay £2,000 to join, alongside a wider partnership programme and income from conferences, international consultancy and sponsorship.
By becoming partners, institutions were contributing to securing Hepi’s future for the longer term and ensuring it could continue to play its “important role as a critical friend to the sector”, said Mr Bekhradnia.
He added: “And at a time when the UK HE sector is going through a period of profound change and uncertainty, the need for an organisation such as Hepi is perhaps now greater than ever before.”