The UK’s higher education data infrastructure is the envy of the world and has unlikely origins in the conclusion of the Second World War. Andy Youell takes us on a brief and fascinating history.
You cannot have watched television on a Sunday night in the UK over the past few weeks without witnessing the wonders of Professor Brian Cox, the be-gortexed globetrotting human lens flare that has defined popular physics in 2011. With his rock&roll background, his boyish enthusiasm and charm, and his habit of wearing t-shirts that display a startling level of nipple definition, many hearts have been set a-flutter and the phrase “stellar superfluid” has taken on a whole new layer of meaning.
HESA have recently released the latest DLHE figures showing the destinations of graduates six months after obtaining their degrees. They have sparked headlines about unemployed graduates as well as underemployed graduates – those that can’t find work and those having to take non graduate jobs. Stories on the BBC and in broadsheets from the Guardian to the Telegraph have highlighted up to 1 in 5 graduates unemployed at six months and around 1 in 4 of those in work in jobs that might not require degree level qualifications. These findings come at a time when fees are rising to £9k a year and many commentators can’t resist seeing the data as proof that too many people go to university and that there aren’t the jobs to accommodate them all. Andy Westwood takes a closer look at the data and argues that this is a lazy and potentially damaging view.
UCAS have now published their data for applications to the 15 January deadline. By this stage, almost all school-leavers who are going to apply have applied, and a significant proportion of the overseas and older applicants have also applied. This provides us with a reasonably firm basis for taking stock of this years’ recruitment position.
In the 21st century, data makes the world go round. It powers enterprise and connectivity, as oil and steam did in the last two centuries. It comes in many varieties and flavours – ‘raw’ data, ‘processed’ data, ‘big’ data, ‘meta’ data, ‘personal’ data, ‘open’ data, ‘unstructured’ data, to name only a handful that are currently significant… | As the sector begins to get its collective head around data, Graeme Wise sets the scene and introduces Wonkhe’s new data blog – a new initiative dedicated to higher education and its relationship with data.
Jenny Shaw of Unite Students looks at the data – what it tells us about how students relate to the cultural and international mix in their accommodation, and what this could mean for policy.