13 results
Date Name

Innovation – you’re more than a spin out to me

Taken together, the Green Paper, Nurse Review and Spending Review amount to the biggest overhaul of research and innovation governance and funding structures in 20 years. That means that 2016 is the best shot we’ve had in a long time to create the best environment for a healthy innovation ecosystem

Spending Review: In the Bleak Midwinter?

Reviewing the Spending Review, Andy Westwood looks through George Osborne’s greatest hits and biggest gifts, and also some of his biggest challenges to higher education.

Proposals to cut HE budgets are a recipe for disaster

Responding to the Policy Exchange report published today, Karmjit Kaur of UUK argues that the proposals to cut HE in favour of technical education would damage the economy and row back much of the progress made by universities in recent years.

The future of universities is more political than ever

Following the July Budget, big speech from the new universities minister and developments at the Home Office, Martin McQuillan brings together everything we know and considers how the Conservatives will tackle higher education over the next parliament.

Universities continue to defy gravity

After George Osborne’s Budget, Jonathan Simons assesses the settlement for universities, who despite all other policies have defied gravity to secure a generous settlement – albeit with some strings and caveats.

Apprenticeships or university – a false choice

As we mark the end of Apprenticeships Week, Andy Westwood looks at how politicians and the media talk about apprenticeships and the false choice they continually present between them and higher education. There are good reasons to expand higher level apprenticeships, but this needs to happen in a better way – in collaboration with universities and learning from examples abroad.

The narcissism of minor differences

They finally arrived yesterday. BIS published both the HEFCE grant letter and the SFA’s Skills Funding Statement. One was 6 pages and the other 60 but they both delivered roughly the same amount of cash to the FE and HE sectors. They also delivered more or less what had been set out in the Autumn Statement – i.e. some quite significant cuts to both sectors but not too much more on top of what George Osborne delivered in December. Andy Westwood gives some early thoughts on the letters and the scramble over funding that will come.

Placing Borrowing at the Heart of the System

A few days after the Autumn Statement, Martin McQuillan considers the Osborne plan to expand student numbers based on questionable finances that the IFS have labelled ‘economic nonsense’ and have slowly started to unravel. This short-termist policy may have big implications in years to come as BIS will have to make up any further shortfall in the HE budget – a budget already under extreme pressure. With so many risks ahead, the HE sector needs to take a long and detailed look at this scheme.

How does HE fit into the wider economy?

I was lucky to be in the audience for White Noise, University Alliance’s seminar on the policy implications of the HE White Paper. The event was quite well attended and, I felt, indicative of the sort of seminars that mission groups should be putting on. UA evidence was presented and then an open discussion had, which raised some interesting points, two of which have continued to play on my mind.

The first came from UA’s Director, Libby Hackett. She said that, within the white paper, the wider view of higher education and how it fits into the economy is limited. In fact, it’s barely discussed. At the time I tweeted that I have never agreed with a sentence more and I stand by that.

Pfizer’s exit from Kent – HE plays a critical role in the region

Today’s news that Pfizer is closing its European HQ for research and development which was based in Kent will be catastrophic news for the local community. The centre is in a particularly economically deprived part of Kent which already has high levels of unemployment due to the historic decline of the docks, agriculture and the tourist pound. Until Canterbury… read more