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Date Name

How to read: Michael Barber’s UUK speech

Sir Michael Barber

How do we interpret Sir Michael Barber’s first major speech in his new role as Chair of the Office for Students? David Kernohan has been quietly following Barber’s career, and he has a few thoughts.

Widening access now has a business and social imperative

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.

An article of blame or an article of faith?

Responding to Sonia Sodha’s article in The Observer which strongly criticised universities, Andy Westwood asks if the sector has got the balance right in the debate about value and diversity in the system.

Looking after those student consumers

Following the recent CMA ruling at the University of East Anglia, Registrarism asks if the new regime is beginning to overreach in its quest to regulate universities.

You only get what you pay for. Or do you?

Following a recent ruling by the CMA, Jim Dickinson argues that students are quite right to demand value for money, a decent amount of contact hours, and a fairer service all round.

What determines university choice, and what is its monetary value?

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.

Critics of the graduate tax are shouting at straw men

Jim Dickinson responds to the legions of public critics of Owen Smith’s plans for a graduate tax, arguing that there are just as many problems with the current fees and ‘vouchers’ system.

The left is lost on higher education

Emran Mian argues that the left is offering no constructive alternative to the government’s market-led agenda in HE, and thus have very little of use to add to the debate.

The challengers (and challenges) in higher education market reform

The government’s new White Paper on higher education heralds a shakeup to the HE market with new ‘challenger institutions’ set to proliferate. Andrew McGettigan reviews the paper, it’s new measures for reform and all the problems with its approach.

New providers, new analogy

With the Green Paper indicating that the Government is seeking to further break down barriers to entry for private providers, Mike Ratcliffe tries to compare apples and oranges. Or Byron and McDonalds. Or chalk and cheese. Pick your own analogy, wonks.

Who gains from the grumbles?

Steven Jones, lecturer and researcher into higher education responds to an anonymous academic who claims that “My students have paid £9,000 and now they think they own me”.

Report: Are we ready for the end of student number controls?

Based on new research, Wonkhe has published a report with Capita that assess the sector’s preparedness for the removal of student number controls and the coming changes to universities and the market that are expected to follow.

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.

TTIP and higher education policy

Udi Datta examines the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) and considers what it’s implications may be for universities and the higher education market.