11 results
Date Name

The OfS must not overlook FE colleges

Julian Gravatt of the Association Colleges gives his take on the Higher Education and Research Bill and wonders if the OfS will account for all types of student.

What if there isn’t a skills deficit?

David Morris argues that not far in the future, the sector may not be able to rely on old assumptions about their role in driving skills and so need to start thinking now about how universities should to adapt to shifting economic trends.

Universities should spend their cashable reserves

Continuing the debate started by their report published on Monday, Jonathan Simons responds to the critics – and argues universities do indeed have reserves which could be used if policy and funding is rebalanced to save FE.

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.

Students at the heart of the system (when it suits)

Days before the National Student Survey (NSS) goes live, the National College for Teaching and Learning, responsible for overseeing Initial Teacher Training has inexplicably pulled the plug on universities and future students receiving and learning from effective student feedback. One vice chancellor expresses his frustration at this counter-productive and contradictory move.

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.

Winners and losers in the current system

There is no doubt that, as with most changes, the £9,000 fee system introduced in England in 2012-13 created winners and losers. We know that applications are back up for full-time undergraduates – and we know this includes students from non-traditional backgrounds, which is great. But that is not the whole story. On the day the Public Accounts Committee confirm the rising costs of writing off loans, Libby Hackett looks at the winners and losers in the current system, and calls for a fundamental rethink.

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.

An innovation and efficiencies pot?

The Government doesn’t quite know what it wants to do with the core and margin policy next year. At the moment their instinct is to run it again on more or less the same terms. Ministers don’t see either AAB or core and margin as permanent features of the system but they are mightily constrained by the short and longer term costs of the student loan book. Furthermore, there are no guarantees that the places top sliced and allocated through the core and margin will definitely be filled – UCAS application data shows that the biggest falls have been from older population groups and those perhaps already in work – both more common in the FE sector that has won most of the places.