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Date Name

Estrangement, the hidden disadvantage

Jenny Shaw of Unite Students looks at a new report from Stand Alone and the Unite Foundation which gives the first comprehensive overview of the vulnerability of estranged students.

Apocalypse now?

Are universities doomed? With the apocalyptic tone to many recent pieces on higher education you could be given for thinking universities are facing imminent disaster.

Time to crack down on the payday lenders exploiting students

As NUS and OFFA pull out of a conference taking place today in London due to the inclusion of payday lenders, NUS’ Colum McGuire explains why action must now be taken to crack down on companies that are exploiting student hardship.

Labour announce £6k fees for 2016

Labour have announced their long-anticipated policy to reduce fees from £9,000 to £6,000. Ed Miliband also announced that Labour would raise maintenance grants by £400. Emily Lupton goes through everything we know about the ‘fully funded’ plan. This piece will be updated as information becomes available.

HEPI report defends student mobility

A report released today by HEPI questions to whom does the higher education budget in Wales belong, particularly the Welsh portable fee grant, as well as exploring the high costs for students from Northern Ireland and Scotland who chose to study in England, and whether or not students from the UK should be able to take funding into the EU.

Fees, austerity and war: understanding the student vote

In the week that the Labour Party is expected to set out its plans for higher education after the General Election, Adam Wright explores the student vote, how it maps against wider social trends and looks at how and why student support for the Green party may impact Labour in May.

Time to rebalance funding, regulation and autonomy

Building on new research from Claire Callender and Paul Temple, Jim Dickinson sets his sights on higher education’s autonomy and a redrawing of the compact that has enabled a failed market.

The changing student experience

When the present English tuition fee regime was being planned, there were plenty of voices from inside universities warning that it would change the nature of the relationship between students and their universities for the worse. Students would, it was feared, become customers rather than partners in an academic enterprise – has this happened? Claire Callender and Paul Temple discuss their new research on the changing student experience.

Policy failures in higher education: reflecting on ELQs

In the first of a new series looking at policy failure in and around higher education, David Malcolm reflects on the legacy of the controversial government decision to cease funding for Equivalent and Lower Qualifications (ELQs). How and why it came about, what effect it had on students and the sector, the debates it sparked in policymaking, as well as a look at what the future might hold for this unpopular policy.

The 2014 Grant letter: another epistolary triumph

And the wait was finally over The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has written to HEFCE with the Department’s annual message on funding and helpful bag of instructions. As excitement in the sector reached near fever pitch, the contents were being live-tweeted by @TimesHigherEd while everyone else waited to get hold of… read more

Show and Tell: The Office of Fair Trading is Looking at Universities (again)

And they are looking for a lot of information. Back in October 2013 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a call for information on the undergraduate part of the higher education sector in England. This follows the earlier look (outcome awaited) at terms and conditions in relation to student debts and universities’ practices in… read more

Higher education funding letters: another bundle of joy

On government HE funding letters The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has written to HEFCE with the Department’s annual message on funding and helpful bag of instructions. The letter sets out Government funding and priorities for HEFCE and for higher education for the second year of the new financial arrangements for higher… read more

Agent power and international student recruitment

Are agents too powerful? A recent Times Higher Education story on the use of agents by UK universities in international student recruitment noted: UK universities recruited more than 50,000 international students through commission payments to overseas agents last year, spending close to £60 million on the practice in 2010-11. Using data obtained under the Freedom… read more

Is this the future for UK university sport?

Some US universities spend a LOT on sport A recent Bloomberg report on US universities expenditure on sport highlights the huge amounts spent by Rutgers, which tops the list of spending: Like most of Rutgers University’s almost 30,000 undergraduates, Matt Cordeiro has never put on shoulder pads and played football on a Saturday before a… read more

Firsts and fees, plagiarism and pay hikes (and the rest)

No dumbing down here – is this the most comprehensive HE piece ever? Daily Mail online has a terrific piece which manages to conflate a host of different higher education issues within a single kick ass column. On the back of recent HESA data which shows an increase in the number of students achieving first… read more

Freshers’ week: just a drunken scam?

An interesting view on freshers’ week Libby Purves, writing in The Times, argues that freshers’ week is not quite what it seems and has to stop. The new fees regime, she suggests, may put an end to this “ghastly scam”. These festivals are now in progress or revving up at most British universities; a weird,… read more

Following the money: paying out for AAB

“Universities cut fees for top students” According to The Sunday Times that is. However, the headline doesn quite match the story which is a bit more complicated than that. The BBC presents it a little differently as “Universities to offer A grade students cash”. All of this seems to be sparked by comments from Steve… read more

British students flocking to the US Ivy League. Or not?

An untrained brain drain? In a recent post I commented on the press reports on the modest flow of English students to universities in continental Europe and the reverse flow of other EU students to the UK. The media seems extremely keen to report any international movement by students from the UK as evidence of… read more

White Paper inspiration from the US?

A somewhat different approach to cost savings in the new fees regime Not sure if this was a source of inspiration for the White Paper. It looks like something of a blue print for efficient management at the bargain basement end of the new private providers (but perhaps not for the New College of the… read more

Swings and roundabouts?

UK students rush to Maastricht. European students run to the UK So what is the story here? Is UK (or English) higher education in the post-Browne era so terrible that a mass exodus to the Netherlands is underway? The Independent reports that a Dutch university has seen a ‘tenfold’ rise in applicants: The number of… read more

World Education: The New Powerhouse – Going Global 2011 §1

Some comments on Going Global 2011 – World Education: The New Powerhouse? I was fortunate to be present at the British Council’s Going Global Conference in Hong Kong earlier in March. There were about 1,000 delegates there and as might be expected for this kind of event many of the presentations were high level and… read more

New Guardian Higher Education Network

New online Guardian HE offering The Guardian has just launched its new Guardian HE Network, which looks rather nice: it’s an online space where higher education professionals can talk to one other, get advice and insight from peers and industry experts and grapple with the challenges that face the whole sector. With so many changes… read more