Date Name

Digital sanctuary and anonymity on campus

Sian Bayne, in an article based on her ALTC2017 keynote, argues that anonymous social media spaces can give students the opportunity to seek the support and advice they need – but there are also risks for institutions.

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.

Learning TEF lessons

The release of the TEF lessons learned report, highlighted in Jo Johnson’s UUK speech, means more changes to everyone’s favourite measure of teaching excellence. Catherine Boyd and David Kernohan take a look at the implications.

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.

Edtech? It’s all about policy!

At the 2017 #ALTC conference Wonkhe’s David Kernohan talks to Liverpool Associate Pro-vice-chancellor and co-chair Helen O’Sullivan, and ALT CEO Maren Deepwell, about the current state of edtech at Liverpool and beyond.

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.

Wakey wakey – adulting (and wonk-ing) for beginners

Many universities offer programmes in addition to core curricula to enable students to acquire additional skills and to help them stand out in the employment market place. But what if there were such a course for ‘wonk skills’?

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.

More higher ed summer reading

2017’s edition of the finest selection of higher education summer reads. Featuring ‘BUCS for Schmucks’, ‘Footnoting for fun’, and ‘A month in the country – it really is research not vacation’.

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.

Data-riffic! What does data tell us about UK higher education in 2017?

More data is available about universities than ever before, and new software means it can be visualised to tell new stories about our sector. David Morris looks at data on TEF, REF, widening participation, university finances, and student numbers.

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.