31 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.

Spending review: the unthinkable predictions

Returning to his ‘unthinkable’ work from December 2014, Julian Gravatt compares the worst predictions to the realities of the Spending Review and finds a mixed bag, with things not being nearly bad as it might have been, but still with plenty of uncertainty and possible pain to come.

Spending Review: there may be trouble ahead

Martin McQuillan looks at the Chancellor’s plan for spending over the next five years and the potential pitfalls that might be on the horizon. As any university finance director knows, the further the prediction made, the greater the risk of disruption to the plan.

Nurse’s watery prescription for research

Following the Nurse Review of research councils, James Wilsdon reviews the long-awaited report and takes the temperature of the policy community finding that the Nobel Laureate has published something watery and unlikely to have a lasting impact on policy.

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.

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.

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.

Priorities for the new BIS team

After rumours of its demise had been widely circulating, today BIS finds itself in an unexpectedly strong position, with a fresh ministerial team made up of high profile and influential MPs within this majority Conservative administration. Jonathan Simons looks at their priorities for HE, science, FE and skills.

DIUS ex Machina? Or whither or wither BIS?

As a government reshuffle is now under way, Andy Westwood looks at the prospect for BIS and the universities and science brief – could they be moved around Whitehall? And what of the likely personalities in the frame to have an influence over the future of the sector in government?

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.

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.

Reforming employability measures

It is widely understood that graduates with higher level skills are critical to the ability of the UK economy to innovate and thus be competitive internationally so it is vitally important that the way we measure how the supply of graduates meets the demand of employers is useful to both universities and businesses. Rosa Fernandez looks at recent research that shows why current measures of graduate employability are not sufficient, and shows how it could improve.

A statement that we didn’t expect?

Like everyone else I thought this year’s Autumn Statement was going to focus on the cost of living, energy and fuel prices. For all I know it might have done but I haven’t yet got past the announcement of 30,000 extra university places next year and the abolition of all number controls in 2015-16. That on top of 20,000 new high level apprenticeships and money for new science facilities across the UK. Andy Westwood takes an early look at the implications of the Autumn Statement.

Austerity, the Spending Review and a crisis in human capital

We thought the last Spending Review in 2010 was bad enough. But this one – covering 2015-16 and then 2016-2018 is beginning to look a whole lot worse. Alongside this is a growing attack on the knowledge economy and the idea of human capital in the media and by policy makers. What might this mean for the future of further and higher education in the UK? Andy Westwood gives his take.

The Budget and universities

The headline stories will be about funding for research and innovation including a centre for research in aerodynamics, two new catapult centres for Transport Systems and Future Cities: “These will bring together world leading IT companies, innovative SMEs and leading universities to commercialise technologies that will increase efficiency and improve the quality of life for transport users and city residents.” There is also £100 million for new university research facilities designed to attract ‘co-investment’ from the private sector. This may tie-in with January’s announcement from David Willetts about new private postgraduate and research ‘universities’.