Institutes of Technology, first seen in the 2017 Conservative manifesto, could be a way to better link academic and vocational pathways. Stephen Martin of PublicCo, along with Ant Bagshaw, take us through the latest policy developments.
Universities UK (UUK) call for reform to higher education regulation proposing a new lead regulator, ‘the Council for Higher Education England’ (CHEE). The report also calls for a new register for higher education providers and more protection of student interest.
As a Committee of the Whole House of Parliament considers the Government’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill today, Pam Tatlow looks at its deep implications for universities, the new powers over HE that it gives the Home Office and why the whole sector needs to pay attention to the political debate and passage through Parliament of this landmark piece of legislation.
There seem to be governance problems all over UK higher education at the moment. Arguably though some of the biggest governance challenges are currently being faced by institutions in Scotland. One of Mike Russell’s final acts as Education Secretary in the Scottish Government was to launch a consultation on proposals for change to university governance.
As part of the University of Nottingham’s response to yet more regulation and changing legislative demands on us we decided to supplement more traditional means of advising staff with a series of video podcasts. The “podbriefings” have been produced by our in-house and external lawyers, together with the University’s video production team.
Anyone that thought there wasn’t enough HE legislative action in this Parliament might be forgiven for suffering from some whiplash the last couple of weeks following the action over the Consumer Protection Bill and now today’s Counter Terrorism and Security Bill introduced to Parliament by Theresa May. Following the introduction of this Bill to Parliament… read more
Something is afoot in The House of Lords and after a drought of primary legislation about HE in this Parliament, we could be on the verge of a fascinating change that has been gestating since the 2011 White Paper, thanks to the politics around the Consumer Rights Bill. Mark Leach takes a quick look at the implications of the Labour Amendment currently heading towards Report Stage, that would alter the 2004 Act on institutions and the OIA.
Following the Welsh Government’s publication of a Higher Education Bill, Greg Walker looks at the implications of its policies and the reactions to them in the Welsh HE sector. Greg also shows how some of the controversial measures designed by Labour in Wales might be replicated in English HE, should Labour come to power after the General Election next year.
As the Australian Government announces radical reforms to higher education in its budget this week, including a lifting of the cap on fees, Gavin Moodie reviews these new changes, their possible implications on institutional and student behaviour and makes important comparisons to the UK system.
Performance indicators might sound dull, but how the sector chooses to evaluate themselves in the future will have a huge impact on league tables, reputation and institutional success. Post-financial crisis and with a political desire to create a ‘level playing field’, shaping the future of performance indicators takes on a new urgency and raises a host of complications that the sector needs to get to grips with. Adam Child takes a look for us.
This week sees the 50th anniversary of the Robbins Report. Appointed by the Government in February 1961, a committee led by Lord Robbins was instructed to review higher education and, “in the light of national needs and resources”, to advise “on what principles its long-term development should be based”. Peter Scott once described the resulting report as “the constitution of modern British higher education.” How and why do we remember Robbins? Tom Bailey takes the long view.
On the blog last week, Jim Dickinson criticised the Higher Education Commission’s recent report in to HE regulation for not including enough protection for students. Now Jess Bridgman, a researcher to the Commission, responds to the charge that the report failed students and shows why its recommendations are underpinned by a need to provide good regulation for the benefit of students.
Another week, another report is published on the gaps in regulation left by the Government’s interesting new take on consumer-focused reforms; triple fees, publish a white paper offering protections, fail miserably to implement them – in that order. Jim Dickinson takes a look at the HE Commission’s report on regulation and finds little new protection for students.
An avalanche is coming. An avalanche of nonsense. David Kernohan reviews the new publication ‘An Avalanche is Coming’ by Pearson’s Michael Barber and finds serious problems with the disease he outlines and even worse problems with his ideas for a cure.
Universities are ‘places where students can develop their capacities to the full, where research and scholarship are pursued at the highest level’. With critical issues at a time when our university system is undergoing some of the most traumatic changes in recent history, the CDBU has been launched to defend the academy and this is why I’ve joined.
I carry with me at all times a 2009 report for Universities UK prepared by the legal firm Eversheds. Why? On page 7 of ‘Developing future university structures’, you will find a diagram entitled ‘A model for university buyouts’. I suggest you look at that diagram and then read the stories about London Metropolitan University’s intentions to ‘outsource’ all staff besides teaching staff and vice-chancellor. What they are doing is something new; they aim to create a vehicle to run universities across the UK.
The media today has been covering the public launch of Pearson College. The new offering from the education publishing giant sees it move into full undergraduate degrees from the HNCs and HNDs it offers through its subsidiary, the examination board Edexcel. This post looks at the interesting changes to Pearson’s business model that have taken place which tells us a lot about the current state of HE reform.
It’s not just the torrential rain and gales that have hit university campuses and rattled Vice Chancellor’s whisky cabinets across Wales over recent weeks and months – the whirlwind reform and restructuring in higher education demanded by the Welsh Government and HEFCW also took its toll. But the publication last week of the Government’s White Paper on Further & Higher Education had the effect of bringing some calm to the storm.
Yesterday the Government published its long awaited response to the HE White Paper and technical consultations. Smashing straight through the three-month deadline that Departments have to publish these, there were many who thought the long wait indicated that they were cooking up something big. It’s the classic policy wonk trap – you see big schemes, plots and grand strategies wherever you look because that’s how you think. But in politics – particularly in the Coalition, the truth is always much simpler. The Government’s response this week did a pretty good job of kicking issues into the long-grass and not committing to much at all. But it’s hardly a surprise when you consider the state of the White Paper itself when it was published last June – an equally thin document – and the political difficulties that HE has caused the Coalition to date.
In last June’s Higher Education white paper (yes it really was that long ago), BIS declared their intention to reduce the qualifying threshold for university title from 4,000 to 1,000 students. All the other qualifying criteria – notably the need to hold degree awarding powers – would remain intact. Those institutions that might benefit from such a change made headlines when the precise proposals and criteria were published in the subsequent technical consultation in August 2011.
The headline higher education news in Wales can be summed up in one word: mergers. Nothing gets Welsh education correspondents’ filing copy quicker than a ‘buried’ Government report into amalgamations; threats of ‘judicial reviews’; or concerns about the very future of institutions.