Date Name

Dangerous acts and dogs’ breakfasts

The Higher Education and Research Act – was it really all that? David Kernohan argues that the claims of generational significance are dogging attempts at radical reform.

Is there still a role for validation?

Yes, answers the OU’s Phil Berry, who argues that a validation arrangement can benefit alternative HE and established universities – serving to build a better quality sector.

Time to open the door on sector diversity

The sector is diverse, but it could offer more choices of delivery methods to support the needs of a wider range of learners. Paul Feldman of Jisc, a member of the Higher Education Commission, introduces their recent report.

On senior pay, the ball is in the sector’s court

OfS Chair Sir Michael Barber encourages the sector to get their house in order regarding value for money, as he looks towards the formal existence of the new sector regulator in the new year.

The golden triangle of retention

We should move beyond the educational deficit model when we consider retention, argues University of Lincoln vice chancellor Mary Stuart.

Below standard: grade inflation in TEF

TEF will now include a new and controversial metric for “grade inflation”. But it may turn out to be the wrong answer to the right problem, argues Ant Bagshaw.

Halving the NSS diminishes the student voice in TEF

‘Halving the NSS weighting’ may have been a statement designed to pacify objections from within the sector, but underestimating the student voice can ultimately come at a cost. Gwen van der Velden highlights a major change in the TEF.

Equality and the REF 2021 consultation

Does the potential for the use of headcounts in determining REF2021 submissions run the risk of breaching equalities law? James Hand highlights the potential issues.

The value of the TEF

Universities UK’s review of the TEF was based on a survey conducted before the results were released, and it makes for a fascinating snapshot of the views of VC before the agony or ecstasy of the awards themselves. Andrew McRae discusses the results.

Where policing ends and universities begin

Students do many things at university – unfortunately some of them get arrested and then released on bail. Levi Pay sets out the trials of managing this situation from the student services perspective.

The rise of academic ill-health

Across the sector, staff and students are anxious, and mental health issues are actively caused by the way institutions are required to operate. Richard Hall takes a deeper look into the unhealthy way the modern universities are experienced by the human beings within them.

Is Britain’s university system really a timebomb?

Mike Ratcliffe defuses that UK2020 report, and offers a critique of the way it has been constructed. He argues that we need to address these arguments, despite their low quality, as they are continuing to catch the attention of the media.

The OfS should make university governance a top priority

Many of the criticism’s recently levelled at universities could be fixed with improved governance, but will the new regulator be sufficiently ambitious to ensure reform? Jim Dickinson suggests some ways forward.

There’s a difference between ‘good’ and ‘good value’

Universities will struggle to improve their public image without understanding their critics’ point over whether they offer good value to students and the taxpayer. David Morris tries to illustrate this point with a drawn-out metaphor.

Who does what when a student dies?

In an average university, six or seven students will die each year. Levi Pay takes us through the protocols needed to carry out the delicate and emotional process of supporting families, friends and coursemates through this difficult time.

A real step change for fair access

As the work of the Office for Fair Access begins to transfer to the new Office for Students, Les Ebdon offers his perspective on the way the new body will need to approach this vitally important issue.

Team Wonkhe slack chat: the NSS

In an experimental feature, Team Wonkhe take to slack to discuss the 2017 NSS in detail. The chat covers post-graduate NSS, the potential for bias within surveys and the use of NSS data within institutions.

There are opportunities ahead for a new sector agency

As the boards of the Leadership Foundation, the Equality Challenge Unit and Higher Education Academy (HEA) confirm their merger plans, the Chair of the Shadow Board leading the creation of the new agency reflects on the way ahead for the new body.