20 results
Date Name

£11.5k fees? Time to come back down to earth

As fees take the stage one final time as the General Election campaign draws to a close, Mark Leach argues that it is time to bring the whole issue back to reality and proposes a bold move to ensure that HE fees and finance take their rightful place at the heart of our political and economic debate.

What MPs think about universities

Ahead of the 2015 General Election, Communications Management commissioned Ipsos MORI to find out what MPs think about the state of higher education today. Justin Shaw looks at the findings, particularly politicians’ desire for greater business involvement in our universities.

Winners and losers from £6,000 fees

A fortnight ago, the higher education choice at the forthcoming general election became clearer as a result of Labour’s policy announcement. Graeme Wise returns to the issue to assess the winners and losers from the £6,000 fees policy.

Universities should be at the heart of our national debate

Can we expect an unaccustomed and not entirely welcome focus on universities at the coming General Election? Or are we in a position where, as Oscar Wilde said, ‘There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about’. Edward Peck on why we should welcome the return of universities to the national debate.

A small sigh of relief?

Following Labour’s announcement that they would lower fees from 9k to 6k, Alistiar Jarvis looks at why the policy isn’t nearly as bad as some in the sector had feared – but warns of challenges on the road ahead.

The art of the implausible

A week after vice chancellors intervened in the General Election campaign with an attack on Labour’s tentative proposal to lower tuition fees – citing its ‘implausibility’ – Martin McQuillan argues that the intervention was a mistake that may now backfire.

Politics isn’t fair, is it?

As the sector goes to war with politicians over higher education fees, Jim Dickinson calls for an alternative approach: one supported by the public and based on a respect for democracy and the politics (and politicians) that drive it.

Labour higher education funding policy 101

On the day Universities UK launches a major political intervention in to the HE funding debate, Mark Leach takes a look at the current state of Labour Party fees policy. How we got here and what the options are for a way out that satisfies the increasingly difficult political and economic climate.

Politicians: please don’t screw it up

In his first public comments since leaving the Civil Service, BIS’ former Head of Higher Education Matthew Hilton and new DVC at Kingston University reflects on the big questions to which we’ll be looking to answer after May, as well as the nature of decision making itself.

Theresa May’s war against higher education continues

On Sunday Theresa May informed the press of her intention for the Conservative Party’s next manifesto to include a pledge to kick out foreign students as soon as they graduate and introduce a shift to a ‘zero net student migration’ level. Rather than being able to apply for other visas while still in the UK, foreign graduates would have to go home and apply to return. Universities would have to enforce this, risking fines or losing their sponsorship licence if they failed to take sufficient steps to enforce it. Tom Bailey takes a closer look at this idea and where it came from.

Students and higher education beyond 2015

Based on her comments last night at GuildHE’s Annual Conference, NUS President Toni Pearce recasts the role of students, universities and society in the big debates the sector are having about markets, competition and engagement. Through challenging policy pressures today, and an uncertain period heading towards a General Election, Toni calls on the sector to – without waiting for politicians – start playing a greater leadership role in society based on a deeper connection with the values and expectations of students now and in the future.

Beyond the broken funding system

As the BIS Select Committee adds its weight to the growing consensus about the (un)sustainability of the Coalition’s higher education funding policies, Sam Jones looks at the difficult political and economic climate both before and after next year’s General Election. With the policy case now hard to refute, he calls for another Browne-style review to create political consensus and lasting change.

Time to end the messy status quo

In his first report as Director of HEPI, Nick Hillman calls for an end to the messy status quo that has led to fragmentation across UK higher education and it’s regulatory regime. He calls for policymakers to set out where they stand and bring the debate forward despite difficult politics to settle the many outstanding questions that lay before us.

Expanding the debate

Cheered on by the right-wing press, it is a widely-held belief that there are “too many graduates”. So what does HE expansion look like in that context and what form should it take? Not pulling the ladder up, but moving and positioning it, ensuring that the expansion of the future offers transformation and returns appropriate to the age, not build on outdated ideas and prejudices. Jim Dickinson reflects on the wider debate and the ideologies and politics that drive it.

Whither (or wither) the Lib Dems?

The Liberal Democrats kick off the party conference season in Glasgow next week. Will they develop a firm (and different?) position on higher education as the 2015 General Election approaches? Even after a policy review headed up by Baroness Brinton and a business department led by Vince Cable, their position is still very hard to predict. In a first of a series covering each main party’s annual conference, Andy Westwood looks at the state of the Lib Dems through an HE lens.

Comprehensive spending

As Oxford announces a £75 million donation to help its poorest students, Mark Leach tries to put the money in context and dreams about what else could be achieved with a chunk of change that size in higher education. Also, the news that the 2013 Comprehensive Spending Review may be delayed until late 2014 tells us some interesting things about the state of the Coaltion.

Are we heading for a breakdown?

The Coalition Government is in terminal decline. Its sense of purpose has dissipated and internal politics threaten to derail the whole enterprise. The higher education policy circus that came to town in 2010 reflects more than ever the tensions within the Coalition and the bizarre, inconsistent and occasionally bad policy-making that stems from this faltering political arrangement. The Coalition’s expiry date is May 2015, and despite the entire Government machine fixing its sights on that date, things may fall apart before then.

UKBA’s student immigration proposals have no intellectual coherence

The immigration minister Damian Green gave a speech yesterday to the think tank Reform explaining the proposals set out by the UK Border Agency in its consultation on student visas.

The legal firm Pennington’s, who are experts in immigration law, suggested this week that the consultation itself could be illegal.

The Conservatives pledged to lower net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ in their General Election manifesto. Since taking office they have realized that through a quirk of data processing that counts student in net migration figures even though very few international students take up permanent residence in the UK, enacting this pledge would require drastic cuts to international student numbers.