Education secretary Justine Greening is to take on both the higher education portfolio and the skills brief as part of a dramatic overhaul of Whitehall departments.
The new prime minister Theresa May has almost completely revamped the Cabinet, sacking Nicky Morgan as education secretary and replacing her with Justine Greening.
Downing Street confirmed that Ms Greening will now take over a vastly expanded brief, which will roll the higher education and the further education budgets into the DfE.
It had been a long held desire of former education secretary Michael Gove to bring every sector of education under one roof.
Mr Gove pressed the case for his remit to be expanded under the Coaltion but his move was blocked.
Ms Greening now faces taking control of schools, skills and the HE sector in a time of swingeing cuts. Many onlookers in the tertiary phase of education will be hoping their sectors are not used to balance school budgets.