20 results
Date Name

The case for social mobility league tables

Following last week’s annual report from the Social Mobility Commission, Nottingham Trent VC Edward Peck puts the case for ranking universities’ performance in social mobility and for making access targets a part of the TEF.

Unpaid Internships – it’s still not what you know

Sally Holt, wonk-aspirant and former aspirations coordinator at a Hartlepool school, argues that the continued practice of unpaid internships is undoing all the good work by the education sector to make life chances more fair.

No one left behind: slowing down and speeding up HE

The social mobility debate must move on from getting a small number of students into ‘selective’ institutions and think more about opening up higher learning through more flexible funding and credit accumulation. Daisy Hooper makes the case.

The PM has moved the admissions debate forward

UCU’s Angela Nartey says that, in his intervention on universities and race, the Prime Minister is right that there is something “ingrained, institutional and insidious” about universities today

What do we mean when we talk about ‘selective’ universities?

What does it mean to be a selective university in today’s UK HE market? Vice chancellor of Nottingham Trent University Edward Peck uses his own institution as an example in comparing the nature of selectivity across HE.

Social mobility cannot be divorced from inequality

Randall Whittaker on social mobility in HE, arguing that without a refocus on inequality, we should give up on achieving upward social mobility, and entirely revise expectations on the role that higher education has to play.

Give change a chance

Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton reviews Alan Milburn’s latest report in to the social mobility ‘state of the nation’, published last week. Depressed at the rhetoric inside the report and how the sector has received it, Geoff calls for a more realistic view about what higher education already does to drive social mobility, and an honest appraisal of what really works drive better outcomes.

Delivering enhanced social mobility

Michael Brown, the former Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University reflects on his new report: ‘Higher Education as a tool of social mobility: Reforming the delivery of HE and measuring professional graduate output success’. Michael looks at the problem with purely focusing on ‘input’ measures rather than ‘output’ and suggests new ways to measure the positive social mobility outcomes in the sector. As well as looking ahead to the future, Michael reflects on the sector’s reaction to these ideas and the debate surrounding the report.

Social mobility, higher education and the 21st century

Despite widespread recognition that higher levels of education are essential for countries to compete, and the fact that the number of people in higher education is growing, access to higher education continues to be skewed according to socio-economic status. Mary Stuart takes a look at some of the current issues with policies on ‘access’ and unpicks how and why universities should play a role in social mobility.

The postgraduate problem?

There is little doubt that we have a problem or two in postgraduate policy. Fifty vice chancellors recently wrote to the Observer to say so. BIS ministers have been asking for imaginative suggestions and are clear that they are very open to considering any new or ingenious ideas. Well here’s one: don’t do anything (or at least don’t do anything rash).

The Social Mobility Trap and why politicians fall into it

Alan Milburn’s recent report into social mobility and higher education says little that is really controversial or particularly surprising. He has outlined the data that shows up the unequal admissions across universities and surveyed the policies that have aimed to address it – from the National Scholarship Programme to Aimhigher. But his central question too easily repeats the widespread assertion that social mobility in the UK has at best stalled or at worst is in decline. And that this has largely happened since the 1990s. But he is at least partly wrong.

Social Mobility, the very idea

‘Social mobility’ is now the central trope in the public discussion of university tuition fees and the guiding principle of HE policy. Given that social mobility is only a possible side effect of a university education not its primary purpose; we are entitled to ask how we arrived at this confusing situation in which the tail seems to be wagging the dog.