30 results
Date Name

What about public goods in higher education?

“It is notable that high fees reduce both the net private benefits and the public benefits of higher education.” – Simon Marginson lays out some of the economic arguments for a sector finance rethink.

Budget 2016: High politics may trump real policy

George Osborne will publish his seventh budget less than four weeks away on 16th March 2016 and with a looming referendum and high politics dominating the agenda, it’s likely to be his most short and technical to date.

Mind the gap: public funding for FE and HE across the UK

As the Spending Review looms, speculation is rife about which areas of public spending are in for the deepest cuts. Sitting within BIS, budgets for FE and HE look particularly vulnerable – Gavan Conlon looks at why and what should be done.

Proposals to cut HE budgets are a recipe for disaster

Responding to the Policy Exchange report published today, Karmjit Kaur of UUK argues that the proposals to cut HE in favour of technical education would damage the economy and row back much of the progress made by universities in recent years.

The future of universities is more political than ever

Following the July Budget, big speech from the new universities minister and developments at the Home Office, Martin McQuillan brings together everything we know and considers how the Conservatives will tackle higher education over the next parliament.

The Budget: what it means for the longer-term

A few days on from the 2015 Budget, Julian Gravatt maps out the longer-term economic landscape for universities, science and the rest of the BIS budget which now faces further pressure and challenges.

Universities continue to defy gravity

After George Osborne’s Budget, Jonathan Simons assesses the settlement for universities, who despite all other policies have defied gravity to secure a generous settlement – albeit with some strings and caveats.

George’s Marvellous Medicine

Previewing this week’s Emergency Budget, Andy Westwood assesses George Osborne’s long-term economic plan, the short-term pressures on spending, and the grand Northern Powerhouse narrative that will likely shape the legacy of this uniquely powerful Chancellor.

Grants: all just a little bit of history repeating

Maintenance grants are looking increasingly vulnerable as the Treasury seeks to make savings from BIS. David Malcolm assesses the government’s options if it wants to make savings from grants.

Finally understanding the RAB charge

Johnathan Simons digests Andrew McGettigan’s new HEPI pamphlet which is the authoritative word on how student loan debt is treated in accounting terms by the government. And as important as his findings, are the many questions that his investigation pose for policy.

Budget 2015: loans for PhD and masters students

Today’s 2015 budget announces loans of £25,000 for masters and PhD students as part of a package from the government to “broaden and strengthen support for postgraduate researchers”. We round up the highlights for HE and science from the government’s last Budget before the coming General Election.

Blue skies thinking

After the heat and noise around Labour’s announced £6,000 fee policy, Martin McQuillan continues his monthly series on higher education politics and policy by turning his attention to the Conservative Party – their policies and what life might be like for universities if the Conservatives are returned to power in May.

Grant letter: HEFCE’s regulatory powers beefed up

Today came the HEFCE grant letter from BIS which outlines funding for higher education in England for 2015-16. Overall the allocations remain much the same as indicated in last years letter, but as ever, there are some interesting bits around the margins that the wonks will want to note.

Enjoy your REF, while you can

This week the results of the latest cycle of research audit in UK universities will be published. This will trigger a frenzy of analysis as the bones of REF 2014 are picked over with a view to identifying winners and losers, risers and fallers, and what if anything it might mean for the future. Martin McQuillan looks at how research funding has been treated by this Government and what future for the process is there in a time of increasing austerity.

Understanding the unthinkable post-2015 cuts

The Autumn Statement confirmed the Chancellor’s plans to make further substantial cuts in the next Parliament. Around £4bn will likely have to come out of the budget for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Julian Gravatt thinks the unthinkable about what this means for HE, research, science and skills.

Autumn Statement: Pain, sorcery and a rabbit called Tim

On the day the Chancellor has made his Autumn Statement for 2014, Andy Westwood reviews the statement and its implications for policy across higher education, science and beyond – both today and over the next Parliament which is set to see further deep cuts and real pain across Government spending.

Placing Borrowing at the Heart of the System

A few days after the Autumn Statement, Martin McQuillan considers the Osborne plan to expand student numbers based on questionable finances that the IFS have labelled ‘economic nonsense’ and have slowly started to unravel. This short-termist policy may have big implications in years to come as BIS will have to make up any further shortfall in the HE budget – a budget already under extreme pressure. With so many risks ahead, the HE sector needs to take a long and detailed look at this scheme.