A once respected national newspaper, desperate for clickbait, has resorted to some rather bizarre explanations for UK universities’ recent performance in international league tables. Andrew McRae kindly answered the call to take them to task.
The current government’s argument that student loans widen participation is misleading, argues Claire Callender, whose new research finds that debt aversion is stopping the poorest from applying to university.
Many university leaders have been uneasy about the Conservatives’ plans to enforce school sponsorship. Anne-Marie Canning argues that instead, universities should embrace the challenge to help raise attainment in schools.
A supposed lack of student resilience is often used to explain away a number of new challenges for universities. Alex Prestage argues we must move away from a deficit model to one that better recognises relative disadvantage.
A squeeze in overall demand means that there’s a new urgency behind broadening the sector’s net to include greater numbers of students from low-participation backgrounds, argues UCAS’s Mary Curnock Cook.
What if access to higher education was entirely ‘fair’, and more evenly split across social classes? David Morris has made a rough model of a ‘fair’ system to uniquely illustrate some of the challenges for fairer and wider access to university.
Outreach has become a common part of higher education providers’ access work, but it needs to be for life, and not just for university. Fraser Burt makes the case for employers’ bridging the class gap.
How are innovative alternative models of higher education being developed in the UK, and what are the barriers to further innovation? Joy Carter introduces the latest inquiry from the Higher Education Commission.
Forcing universities to open or sponsor schools runs the risk of diverting resources away from already effective widening access activities. Maddalaine Ansell lists her objections to the government’s plans for compulsory sponsorship.
How do different characteristics of universities influence choice? The team at London Economics has taken a look at how rankings, employability, and student support influence the perceived net monetary value of a degree, and found some intriguing results.